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Red Lobster files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Red Lobster, the casual dining chain that brought seafood to the masses with inventions like popcorn shrimp and “endless” seafood deals, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The 56-year-old chain has been struggling in recent years with rising lease and labor costs, increased competition and changing customer tastes.

“Red Lobster’s restaurants will remain open and operating as usual during the Chapter 11 process, continuing to be the world’s largest and most-loved seafood restaurant company,” reads a Red Lobster press release issued Sunday night.

The seafood restaurant chain said in a court filing late Sunday that it has more than 100,000 creditors and estimated assets between $1 billion and $10 billion.

The company’s estimated liabilities are between $1 billion and $10 billion.

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