Voz media US Voz.us

Restaurant chain Rubio's Coastal Grill closes almost 50 locations in California after minimum wage increase

A spokesperson for the Mexican food chain stated that the closures are being carried out after a "review of its operations and the current business climate" and have come due to increased business costs.

Local Rubio's Mexican Grill

Local Rubio's Mexican Grill (Matt Howry - Wikimedia Commons)


Mexican restaurant chain Rubio's Coastal Grill announced it was closing 48 "underperforming" locations in California due to rising business costs.

The 48 locations are equivalent to one third of the total owned by the chain, which operates in The Golden State, Nevada and Arizona. According to information from The Los Angeles Times, the closure comes due to the "rising cost of doing business in California" and follows a "thorough review of its operations and the current business climate."

Of the total number of closed establishments, 24 are located in the counties of San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura. Another 13 are located in the San Diego area.

The chain did not comment on how many workers lost their jobs, but did say it will continue operating at its other 86 locations. A company spokesperson stated:

Making the decision to close a store is never an easy one. Rubio's Coastal Grill, Home of the Original Fish Taco, after a thorough review of its operations and the current business climate, has decided to close 48 underperforming locations in California as of May 31, while keeping 86 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada open. The closings were brought about by the rising cost of doing business in California. 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.

Increase in wages for employees of fast food chains

The closures come two months after California's state wage law went into effect establishing $20 per hour as the minimum pay for employees at fast-food chains with 60 or more locations nationwide.

This is not the first case of food establishments closing due to financial difficulties. Seafood chain Red Lobster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month after closing dozens of its restaurants.

Other restaurants, including some well-known pizzerias, cut jobs. In December, Southern California Pizza Co. announced the layoffs of more than 840 delivery drivers. This also affected Pizza Hut, which presented notices stating that to comply with the wage law they had to interrupt their delivery services.