Rubio’s files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after closing 24 LA locations – NBC Los Angeles

Rubio’s Coastal Grill has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy days after announcing they’ve closed locations in Los Angeles, San Diego and Northern California.

Rubio’s will be entering a court-supervised sale process which they expect will be completed within 75 days. The company is seeking court approval to continue operations during the sale process.

“Like the restaurant industry overall, Rubio’s has been negatively affected over the past few years by diminishing in-store traffic attributable to work-from-home practices remaining in place, and by rising food and utility costs that, combined with significant increases to the minimum wage in California, put pressure on a number of its locations,” Rubio’s said in a news release.

Co-founder Ralph Rubio will continue with the company and will provide “his usual inspiration and energy going forward,” the company said.

Rubio’s said that daily operations at its remaining 86 Rubio’s restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada will continue with business as usual.

On June 1, Rubio’s closed 48 “underperforming” locations in California which included 13 in San Diego, 24 in Los Angeles and 11 in Northern California.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill cited the rising cost of doing business in California as one of the reasons for the closures, such as this shuttered location on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in San Diego. (NBC 7 San Diego)

Rubio’s has been facing some headwinds for a while, according to some economists. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2020 citing the filing as part of a “comprehensive financial restructuring.”

“The initial thought that came to mind was that they are going to really be hit hard by this increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers from $16 per hour to $20 per hour but there are some other issues as well that Rubio’s is facing. They’ve been having financial difficulties for a long time. I haven’t looked at their books or anything like that, but I do know that in 2015 they had 193 locations nationwide. So – they’ve cut about a third of those and so they’re going to cut another third with the closings that were announced yesterday,” University of San Diego Economics Professor Alan Gin said.

Rubio’s first opened in 1983 on Mission Bay Drive in Pacific Beach. Rubio’s is headquartered in Carlsbad.

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