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Home / Life! / Dining / Rubio’s Coastal Grill shuts down 48 California locations

Rubio’s Coastal Grill shuts down 48 California locations

by HeyWire AI
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Rubio’s Coastal Grill, the fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, unexpectedly shuttered 48 of its California locations on Friday, attributing the decision to the escalating costs of conducting business. The closures, impacting employees who according to social media posts received no prior notice, come on the heels of California’s new $20-an-hour minimum wage law for fast-food workers, which took effect two months ago.

In a statement released Monday by media strategy firm Sitrick and Co., Rubio’s said the closures followed a “thorough review of its operations and the current business climate.” The Carlsbad-based chain, while refraining from elaborating on specific reasons, emphasized that the move is part of a strategic initiative to secure long-term success. “While painful, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic long-term plan to position Rubio’s for success for years to come,” the statement read.

Rubio’s, established in 1983 by Ralph Rubio as a small walk-up stand in San Diego, has faced its share of financial struggles in recent years. The pandemic significantly disrupted its operations, prompting the chain, which was acquired by private equity firm Mill Road for $91 million in 2010, to file for bankruptcy protection in 2020. The restructuring process following the bankruptcy saw the company sharply reducing its number of locations.

The abrupt nature of the latest closures has left many workers in distress, some recounting the sudden loss of their jobs over social media. Reports indicate that employees were informed of the shutdowns via phone calls over the weekend, with no advance warning. The total number of workers affected has not been disclosed.

Despite the closures, Rubio’s continues to operate 86 locations across California, Arizona, and Nevada.

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