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Hollywood Arby's closes due to California's $20 minimum wage

Hollywood Arby's closes due to California's  minimum wage
Hollywood Arby's closes due to California's  minimum wage


Family-owned Arby's Roast Beef, which had a presence on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood for 55 years, has closed its doors, blaming California's recently enacted $20-an-hour minimum wage law as the final “nail in the coffin.

The fast food restaurant's iconic cowboy hat sign was captured by FOX 11's SkyFOX camera Tuesday with the following reading: “Goodbye Hollywood.” TY for 55 beautiful years.

The restaurant, near Bronson Avenue, closed its doors Saturday, according to local reports.

Arby's, located at 5920 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, is closing after 55 years in business. Getty Images

With inflation, food prices increased dramatically and the $20 an hour minimum wage was the nail in the coffin,” Gary Husch, general manager of Arby's store, told the Los Angeles Times.

Husch is the son-in-law of Marilyn Leviton, 91, who opened the Arby's franchise at 5920 Sunset Boulevard in January 1969, six months before the moon landing.

But on Friday, Arby's workers arriving for their shift were informed they were being laid off.

A handwritten sign placed in the window reads “Permanently Closed” and plywood was used to board up the restaurant.

I'm really sorry it's come to this. I think we've done a good job for 55 years, Leviton told KTLA-TV.

It's the latest restaurant to close since the state raised the minimum wage for fast food workers on April 1, from $16 to $20 an hour.

The owner said California's new $20-an-hour minimum wage law was the “final nail in the coffin.” KTLA News 5

Beloved taco chain Rubios Coastal Grill closed dozens of locations across California earlier this month, citing the rising cost of doing business in the state. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a few days later.

Fosters Freeze, another fast food chain, recently closed one of its locations near Fresno because the franchise owner said he could no longer afford to pay workers higher wages.

Leviton's Arby's — sporting the chain's famous slogan “We've Got the Meats” — has struggled in recent years.

“I think it was the pandemic that destroyed us,” she said.

Arby's has seen a reduction in foot traffic since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Getty Images

I really feel like we would have closed during the pandemic [if it werent] for federal loans.

Husch added: “Many offices around this area are now empty and simply don't get the same foot traffic as before.

Since the law took effect, visits to chains such as McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King have declined, according to analytics firm

Popular chains like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Chipotle and Starbucks have also had to raise their menu prices, some by as much as 8%.

Friday was the last day the Arby's on Sunset Boulevard served customers. KTLA News 5
Arby's employees were informed of their layoffs when they reported to work Friday. KTLA News 5

In-N-Out Burger, one of California's most popular fast food chains, raised the price of its double-double burger combo in Los Angeles County to $11.44, 76 cents more than Last year.

The controversial new law also mandates 25 percent pay increases for fast-food restaurant managers, from a minimum of $66,560 a year to $83,200.

At popular chicken chain Raising Canes, general managers across the state can now see their annual salaries rise to $174,000 thanks to bonuses based on their establishment's sales and profits.




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