Major US seafood chain Red Lobster goes under

The operator of major US seafood chain Red Lobster has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The firm, headquartered in Florida, made the announcement on Sunday.

According to court filings, customer numbers plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. And the firm has been weighed down by soaring labor costs amid steep inflation. Adding the "Ultimate Endless Shrimp" promotion dish to the menu last year expanded the losses.

The popular casual chain has around 550 outlets in the US and 27 in Canada.

The operator says the chain will remain open during the bankruptcy process, but the number of outlets will be reduced.

Red Lobster Japan said in April that it is a separate entity from the US business and its operations will be unaffected.