Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
|Headquarters||San Clemente, California|
|Number of locations||39 restaurants|
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant and Market is a seafood restaurant chain inspired by the 1994 film Forrest Gump. As of September 2010, thirty-two Bubba Gump restaurants operate worldwide. Twenty-two of these locations are in the United States, three are in Japan, two are located in Mexico, three are in Malaysia, and one each in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The company is based in San Clemente, California, and has been a division of Landry's Restaurants since 2010.
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, the leader of the San Clemente, California-based Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurants, Inc. and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Intl. LLC operate or franchise the restaurants as well as "Capi's Italian Kitchen," "Mai Tai Bar," and the sole remaining Rusty Pelican restaurant in Newport Beach, California. Rusty Pelican locations in other cities were sold to Landry Seafood Restaurants. Although the fictional restaurant chain is based in Alabama, the actual chain has no locations in that state.
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company started as an idea between Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue and Forrest Gump during their tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. Bubba proposed the idea of going into business as shrimp boat fishermen. Forrest Gump agreed and promised to be his partner after the end of their service in the United States Army. However, Bubba died in the line of duty in Vietnam, which left Forrest to be the only member of the proposed company. Forrest then went on to play on the All-America Ping Pong team and after his tour, earned about $25,000 ($24,562.67 after personal expenses) to buy himself a shrimp boat which he named "Jenny", after his childhood love, and moved to Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
Lieutenant Dan Taylor who was Bubba and Forrest's platoon leader initially joked that if Gump became a ship captain, that he would become his first mate. Upon hearing of Forrest's purchase of the boat, Taylor went out to visit him and actually became first mate (although he gave most of the orders). In 1974, Hurricane Carmen passed through Bayou La Batre, Alabama and made derelicts out of the area's shrimping fleets except for the Jenny (Forrest's boat) because Forrest and Lt. Dan were fishing for shrimp in the hurricane; afterwards his boat was the only shrimp boat to service that area for a while.
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company later earned a spot in Fortune magazine with Forrest and Lt. Dan on the front cover. After finding out that his mother was ill with cancer, Forrest left his shrimping business in 1976 leaving it in the hands of Taylor who then invested some of their profits into "some fruit company." Forrest donated some of his profits to a chapel, a hospital named in his honor (Gump Medical Center), and gave Bubba's share to Bubba's family.
The menu consists mostly of shrimp dishes, but also other seafood, as well as Southern and Cajun cuisine, due to the main character, Forrest, being from inland Alabama and his friend, Bubba, being from the Gulf Coast of Alabama.
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