The first Bubba Gump restaurant opened in 1996 in Monterey, California by Viacom Consumer Products. That firm's parent company, Viacom, is owner of Paramount Pictures (the distributor of Forrest Gump), and also owns the Rusty Pelican restaurant chain. The Bubba Gump restaurant is named after the film's characters Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue and Forrest Gump. In the film, Bubba suggested the shrimping business and ultimately Forrest pursued the idea after Bubba's death in the Vietnam War.
In 1995, Paramount Pictures approached Rusty Pelican Restaurants Inc. with a desire to create a restaurant based around the theme of Paramount's 1994 film Forrest Gump. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co was created as a result. Within a year the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co created a concept idea for the restaurant chain which was then licensed by Paramount Licensing, Inc. In 1996 the first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co restaurant was opened, its success lead to its franchising on an international scale. Although the fictional restaurant chain is based in Alabama, the actual chain has no locations in that state.