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This Beloved Fast-Casual Restaurant is Closing 12 Locations

This coastal grill is shutting down over 16% of it’s restaurants.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry are going to linger for a while. The toll of switching to carryout or drive-thru only, or even closing altogether, cost the industry billions of dollars. And yet another restaurant chain is announcing they are closing locations due to decreased profits as cases continue to rise again.

Rubio's Coastal Grill will close 12 locations in Colorado and Florida after shutting down all dining rooms and switching up operations in March, according to Nation's Restaurant News. The regional favorite offers fresh Mexican fast-food like wild-caught shrimp and Mexican street corn bowls, Norway lobster burritos, fish tacos, and more.

Related: 20 Ways to Cut 200 Calories From Your Fast Food Order

"We pivoted to offer curbside pick up at almost all locations, and have offered takeout, express pick up and delivery throughout the quarantine," says Ralph Rubio, co-founder of the restaurant. He announced that they have reopened outdoor seating and dining rooms in Arizona, Nevada, and most locations in California. Tables are, of course, at least six feet apart to accommodate social distancing rules.

The company owned 197 locations at the end of December and brought in $230.6 million in sales. This was $2 million lower than in 2018 when they had 204 locations.

Some restaurants are seeing a different fate than Rubio's. Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill saw sales increase in the week ending on June 6, despite sales declines in weeks prior. Many others are doing okay, too. Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant saw sales rise by almost 20% last year. Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers added 57 restaurants to its lineup recently.

Yet, some iconic eateries may close their doors for good after seeing limited profits during the pandemic. Local restaurants are being hit hard. Coffee shops, cafes, and other mom and pop businesses are at risk of shutting down.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda