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Red Lobster opens its first restaurant in Thailand

  • Red Lobster has made its way to Bangkok for the first time in an effort to expand in Asia.

  • The branch has a capacity of 70 diners and is located at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

  • The menu includes seafood bought from traceable and sustainable sources, such as Maine lobster, North American snow crab, wild-caught cod, shrimp, scallops, clams and Atlantic salmon.

  • The chain, which is partially owned by Bangkok-based seafood producer Thai Union, has been struggling financially since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The company is also currently running without a CEO following Kelli Valade’s departure in April.

Red Lobster has made its way to the shores of Bangkok for the first time in an effort to expand in Asia.

The Bangkok branch of the popular U.S. seafood restaurant chain, its first in Thailand, has a capacity of 70 diners and is located at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

The menu includes seafood bought from traceable and sustainable sources, such as Maine lobster, North American snow crab, wild-caught cod, shrimp, scallops, clams and Atlantic salmon.

Red Lobster, which has 719 restaurants in 44 states and 12 countries, including Canada, Ecuador, China, Japan, Mexico and Puerto Rico, is known for serving live Maine lobster cooked and whole. 

The Signature Feast takes various menu items and combines them onto one plate. Dishes also come with its famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits, which are loaded with cheese and garlic.

Founded in Lakeland, Florida, in 1968, Red Lobster now operates 20 restaurants in Asia, with 100 more branches planned for the next few years.

The chain is also partially owned by Bangkok-based seafood producer Thai Union. While revenue was at an estimated $2.5 billion in 2019, Red Lobster has struggled financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the foodservice industry.

Thai Union promised to provide up to $65 million of outstanding credit facility balance of Red Lobster. The seafood producer’s losses from the American company have reached $10 million, including $7.4 million loss from operations and $2.7 million from lease accounting adjustment.

The company is also currently running without a CEO following Kelli Valade’s departure in April.

“No CEO anywhere wants to be on board a company only eight months. That says it all. That is an indicator of severe stress and malfunction that you can only stay on a job eight months before some sort of irreparable break occurs,” restaurant analyst John Gordon told the Orlando Sentinel after the resignation. “This kind of [move] causes a shiver of ice to go through the management ranks.”

 

Featured Image via @redlobster

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