Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 100

r

RESTAURANTS

Rubio's Restaurants Inc.

anything, and you could swap out a corn tortilla for a flour
tortilla," he says.

Aiming to Win
Rubio's has nurtured an environment where its employees
take pride in their work, Mosel says. "We have a strong culture of accountability," he says.
"Our team has done an outstanding job in creating great
products and upholding all our values," Mosel says, noting
that these include honesty, integrity, discipline and treating
people fairly. "We are a very ethical company. We also celebrate our successes and award people for good work."
Ralph Rubio celebrates every employee that has a 20-year
tenure by taking them out to a nice dinner.
Many employees share Rubio's ethics, he adds. "There are
a lot of people here that want to win," he says. "Whether you
are in the field or at the corporate office, we operate like one
big functional family. We all aim to serve the best food in the
fast casual sector."
The company also enjoys low turnover. Whitworth has 18
years with Rubio's, and Mosel himself is celebrating his 10th

Celebrating the Ocean
Rubio's Restaurants Inc. does its part to promote
sustainability through its Ocean Goodness campaign, "a figurative and literal celebration of the
ocean," Director of Culinary Justin Mosel says. "Everybody enjoys the ocean and we try and celebrate it
in many different ways."
Rubio's works to be a friend to the ocean yearround with a majority of its seafood being sourced
from sustainable fisheries, recycling plastic and glass
bottles in restaurants whenever possible, and using
eco-friendly plates and to-go containers. These efforts help reduce the amounts of trash that can end
up on beaches and the coastline. The company also
supports several ocean-focused causes throughout
the year, including coastal cleanups, river cleanups
and Rubio's annual CoastFest event.
Vice President of Supply Chain Clynn Whitworth
recalls Rubio's CoastFest cleanup from two years
ago where it enjoyed a strong turnout, even though
it was raining. "We had about 3,000 people show
up and over 1,000 pounds of trash removed from
the coastline," he says, noting that the company rewarded attendees with free tilapia and shrimp tacos.
Rubio's CoastFest also included performances from
live bands and a variety of activities for all ages.
The company regularly receives accolades for its
coastal cuisine, including the 2016 Best Fish taco
(San Diego CityBeat); 2016, 2011 and 2010 Best Fish
Taco (The San Diego Union-Tribune); 2016 One
the Top 5 favorite Mexican Chains (Market Force
Information); and 2015 Top 100 Movers and Shakers
(Fast Casual.com).

anniversary at the firm. "We also have a lot of people that
have been here upwards of 20 years," he adds.
Rubio's has helped nurture its employee loyalty by giving
them an environment they enjoy working in. Not only does
the company have many locations near the beaches in San
Diego, but "our corporate office is beautiful," Mosel says.
"It's just a lovely layout with floor to ceiling windows and an
open floor plan in sunny Carlsbad."
The company also offers strong employee benefits. In addition to rewarding them with incentives, "We started a nine80 work schedule two years ago," Whitworth says.
Through the program, employees work at the Corporate
Office for 80 hours over nine days, which enables them to
have every other Friday off.
"That helps people work out their lives," he says. "Other
amenities at the corporate office include, a gym, a fresh herb
garden, free (to the employee) espresso machine, a library
and a ping pong table. Additionally, we have Food Trucks
that stop by every Wednesday."

100

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