• Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Why Food Network’s Andrew Gruel won’t open restaurants in Cali

Why Food Network's Andrew Gruel won't open restaurants in Cali


A Food Network chef blasted Los Angeles’ “soft on crime” district attorney Wednesday — and vowed to never open another business in the state again until lawmakers “fix things.”

“Food Truck Face Off’” star Andrew Gruel criticized progressive DA George Gascon for allowing three men who allegedly killed an elderly tourist back on the street despite at least one having a lengthy criminal history.

“At this point, it’s criminal on behalf of the DA and officials who advocate for this soft-on-crime insanity. There is no nuance to this; it’s intentional,” Gruel said on X.

Chef Andrew Gruel said he would not open another restaurant in California until lawmakers “fix things.” Getty Images

“How many thousands of cases do we need to see to know it leads to more violence? Everyone, left, right, and center, can see this. The goal is to instill fear and destroy communities.”

The public outcry comes just one month after the celebrity chef promised not to open another restaurant in California because of the state’s out-of-control crime.

The Food Network judge told Fox Business that he wouldn’t shutter his Rubio’s Coastal Grill chain restaurant, but will in the future “franchise out of the state.”

“I will not open another business in California until they actually fix things on a go-forward basis,” Gruel said last month during an appearance on “Varney & Co.”

Gruel shuttered 48 of its nearly 134 Rubio’s Coastal Grill locations at the end of May – before filing for bankruptcy in June. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

“Allowing all of these crimes has really ripped apart the social fabric that we know of as the foundation of businesses. And then businesses have had to suffer because of all the crime in their surrounding communities. Business goes down. The regulations have piled up.”

The rampant crime is almost unbearable for restaurant owners who are still dealing with the “astronomical firestorm” of the pandemic, he continued.

California’s new minimum wage hikes are only making things worse, said Gruel, who closed 48 of his nearly 134 Rubio’s Coastal Grill locations at the end of May – before filing for bankruptcy in June.

Gruel blamed “soft-on-crime” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón for the rise in crime. AP

Starting in April, fast food restaurants began paying their employees a $20-an-hour-minimum, a significant jump from the previous $16 standard.

The new minimum wage rule would cost Rubio’s Coastal Grill about $25,000 a year, according to Gruel.

“If they were paying their workers $17 an hour, and now they’re up to $20. At 30 workers a week, 40 hours a week, that’s only $1,200 extra dollars times three, $3,600. Well, the payroll taxes on that alone will make it at least $5,000 to $6,000 a week. 52 weeks over. That’s $300,000 a year,” Gruel said.

Restaurants across the Golden State have since slashed nearly 10,000 jobs in wake of the initiative.



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