(NEWSnet/AP) — Red Lobster has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The chain made the filing late Sunday, days after closing dozens of restaurants.

Red Lobster said it will use bankruptcy proceedings to simplify operations, close restaurants and pursue a sale. The company has entered into a “stalking horse” agreement, meaning it plans to sell its business to an entity formed and controlled by lenders.

“This restructuring is the best path forward for Red Lobster,” said CEO Jonathan Tibus.It allows us to address several financial and operational challenges and emerge stronger and re-focused on our growth.”

In recent years, Red Lobster has struggled with increasing competition and drawing younger customers, as well as rising lease and labor expense.

Red Lobster operates 700 locations worldwide.

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