Red Lobster Reacts to Vivica A. Fox Comment Amid Closures

Vivica A. Fox’s mention of a Mother’s Day meal at Red Lobster has received a reaction on one of the restaurant chain’s social media accounts as at least 48 of the company’s eateries were abruptly closed to the public on Monday.

According to the official Red Lobster website, the company operates from around 650 locations across the U.S., some of which have now been marked as “temporarily closed.”

There have been reports that these closures followed financial troubles. During the third quarter of 2023, Red Lobster lost $11 million according to Restaurant Business, with the chain taking a big hit earlier this year when parent company Thai Union Group announced it was divesting, prompting bankruptcy fears.

Newsweek has contacted Red Lobster via email for comment on the closures.

Vivica A. Fox is pictured on April 23, 2024 in New York City. Background shows a Red Lobster restaurant on April 17, 2024 in Rohnert Park, California. Fox mentioned Red Lobster over the weekend, on…

Johnny Nunez/WireImage;/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the midst of the sudden closures, the official Red Lobster account on X, formerly Twitter, has largely fallen quiet in recent days, save for advising individual customers with complaints to contact it via direct messages.

However, a post from Set It Off star Fox caught the company’s attention, when she wrote about a trip to a Red Lobster restaurant for Mother’s Day on May 12.

Sharing a selection of photos of her mom through the years, Fox wished a “Happy Blessed Mother’s Day 2 our BEAUTIFUL mother ‘Everylena Fox.'”

“Thanks mom 4 all of your sacrifices, love & AMAZING support!” Fox went on. “ENJOY ya day, flowers, gifts & YUMMY @redlobster dinner from your children.”

After tagging her siblings, Fox concluded: “WE LUVS YA TONS QUEEN!”

As of press time, the post sits as Red Lobster’s most recent like on the platform. Fox’s family visit would have taken place on the eve of the abrupt closures.

On Facebook, Rickey Williams Jr., the mayor of Danville, Illinois, said that his city’s branch of Red Lobster had suddenly laid off its entire staff.

He said: “I was just notified by one of our local Red Lobster managers that after 31 years of serving our community, without notice, their parent company laid off the entire crew and closed the restaurant effective immediately.

“This is despite the fact that they were rated number 15 out of over 600 stores for customer service & satisfaction last year. They also shuttered nearly 120 other stores without notice.

The mayor added: “To our local Red Lobster family, THANK YOU for serving us so well & being the place we all went to for special occasions. Our prayers are with you and we’re here to help in any way we can.”

According to MacroEdge, a company focused on economic intelligence, around 6,500 Red Lobster employees have been impacted by the store closures, though this figure has not been officially confirmed.

Restaurant liquidator TAGeX Brands began auctioning kitchen equipment, furniture and other items from more than 50 Red Lobster locations on Monday.

Before divesting from Red Lobster, Thai Union Group attributed the company’s decision to make its “Ultimate Endless Shrimp” promotion a permanent offer as a “key factor” in its ongoing financial difficulties.

While the shrimp promotion increased traffic to the chain by 4 percent, as reported by Restaurant Business, it contributed to the $11 million in losses reported by the company in the third quarter of 2023.

According to Restaurant Business, Union Group’s CFO Ludovic Regis Henri Garnier, said while speaking to investors in November 2023: “We knew the price was cheap, but the idea was to bring more traffic to the restaurants. So we wanted to boost our traffic, and it didn’t work.”