Red Lobster closes 50 stores, lays off thousands as voters name economy top issue

Many workers were angered online about the new unemployment.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

Across the United States on Monday, thousands of Red Lobster employees got ready to go to work, only to discover that the restaurant chain had shuttered their location. Recent polls have indicated that the economy is the top issue for US voters. 

While some workers were notified with a phone call, others were not given notice that they no longer had jobs. 

According to the Daily Mail, over 50 of the 650 US locations closed their doors. The move comes following news that the chain suffered an $11 million quarterly loss, largely due to its endless shrimp promotion, and speculation that it could be on its way to filing for bankruptcy. 

In April, Red Lobster hired Jonathan Tibus to be its new CEO. As Intrafish reports, Tibus specializes in leading restaurants through the bankruptcy process. 

Among those whose managers let them know in advance that they needn't come into work was a woman named Naomi. 

In a video posted to TikTok, she explained that Mother's Day had been her last shift. 

"I just got a phone call this morning saying our location is closed," she said. "Y'all know Red Lobster was going bankrupt, they don't have no money to be playing around." 

"We was cool, but we wasn't the best location," she admitted, "so it makes sense." 

"I ain't gonna lie," she warned. "If you work at Red Lobster, you need to start finding something else to do." 

The comments section for the video, which has since been viewed nearly 2 million times, was full of other now-former Red Lobster employees expressing their grievances. 

"You’re lucky you got a phone call," one user said. "I worked at a restaurant and we all showed up to a closed store with no notice." 

"Girl mine was closed too!" another added. "I’m so sad, I gotta find a new job." 

A number of disgruntled ex-workers also posted on X. 

"I feel like I could break at any moment," one user wrote. "What the fuck is life gonna look like. What Red Lobster did in New York is illegal. They closed their doors with no warning. So now we are unemployed. Life is f*cking kicking my ass." 

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