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Take home a piece of the shrimp! Red Lobster equipment goes on sale in ‘largest restaurant auction in history’

Red Lobster, the iconic American seafood chain, is auctioning off restaurant equipment from more than 50 locations.

The auction is the “largest restaurant equipment action ever,” according to TAGeX Brands, a restaurant supply company. The online and in-person auctions are happening in more than 20 states, according to the bidding website, RestaurantEquipment.bid.

The sale comes after Red Lobster said earlier this week that dozens of branches would close across the US, and that the Florida-based chain is considering filing for bankruptcy. The chain lists more than 80 restaurants as closed on its website.

The auctions aren’t for individual equipment, either. Interested buyers can place bids on only one item: The entire contents a closed location.

American seafood chain Red Lobster, pictured above in Torrance, California, is closing down and auctioning off equipment from more than 50 locations (AFP via Getty Images)
American seafood chain Red Lobster, pictured above in Torrance, California, is closing down and auctioning off equipment from more than 50 locations (AFP via Getty Images)

“All contents available in location — equipment, furniture, and more,” the bidding website reads.

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Last year, the company took a major financial blow after its $20 “endless shrimp” offer proved unexpectedly popular, reportedly costing it millions.

Patrons ended up eating more shrimp than expected while taking up tables, resulting in lengthy wait times, which all negatively impacted the restaurant’s profits.

“We were expecting an increase of 20 per cent in customer traffic, but the actual number was up to 40 per cent,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, chief executive of Red Lobster’s parent company, said of the deal last year.

This financial crisis isn’t entirely Red Lobster’s doing, however. Dennis Gemberling, founder and principal of hospitality industry consultancy group, Perry Group International, previously spoke to The Independent about shifting restaurant trends in the US.

Mr Gemberling said a greater shift in consumer behaviour, such as a preference for full dinner experiences, is hurting middle-of-the-road casual restaurants like Red Lobster.

“The fact of the matter is full-service restaurants… [are] becoming more of a specialty operation to go to for the after-work crowd, or on holidays and that type of thing,” Mr Gemberling told The Independent this week.

The Independent has contacted Red Lobster for comment.