Rubio’s Coastal Grill closes 48 California restaurants

A Rubio's Coastal Grill storefront in El Dorado Hills, California, U.S.A.
A Rubio's Coastal Grill storefront in El Dorado Hills, California, U.S.A. | Photo courtesy of Cassiohabib/Shutterstock
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Rubio’s Coastal Grill has closed 48 underperforming restaurants in the U.S. state of California, which amounts to more than one-third of its total restaurant portfolio.

The Carlsbad, California, U.S.A.-based “fresh-mex” chain was founded in 1983 and operates more than 150 restaurants in California, Arizona, and Nevada. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, resulting in it closing all of its Colorado and Florida restaurants.

“Making the decision to close a store is never an easy one. After a thorough review of its operations and the current business climate, [Rubio’s] has decided to close 48 underperforming locations in California, as of 31 May, while keeping 86 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada open,” the company said in a statement emailed to SeafoodSource. “While painful, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic long-term plan to position Rubios for success for years to come.”

The closures were brought about by the rising cost of conducting business in California, Rubio’s said, referring to the state’s minimum wage increase to USD 20.00 (EUR 18.41) per hour, which has impacted many restaurants in the state.

Rubio’s has long supported sustainable seafood suppliers, with offerings such as langostino lobster, wild salmon, and farmed shrimp.

However, Rubio’s faced tough times during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, closing 12 locations in June 2020 and then filing for the aforementioned bankruptcy protection in fall 2020, per the Los Angeles Times.

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