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Social Responsibility


From recycling to sustainable seafood to serving our food in eco-friendly packaging, we do what we can to achieve a greener tomorrow. Ultimately, we hope that our progress inspires our guests to act responsibly, too.


Our priority is to implement recycling in every restaurant where the infrastructure and services exist. This involves working with commercial landlords and municipalities to provide the services and space.

Our progress so far includes:

  • Plastic and glass bottle recycling in almost 50% of our restaurants. We are continually working to expand this program.
  • 100% recycling of grease from our fryers, which stops the grease from going to landfills or down the drain. We recycle enough grease to fill approximately 5 average-sized swimming pools per year, a total of about 86,000 gallons. In addition, the grease we recycle could create enough bio-diesel to fuel all of the food deliveries to our stores.

Environmentally-Friendly Packaging and Printing

The packaging and printed materials we use throughout our restaurants are eco-friendly:

  • Compostable and biodegradable plates and to-go containers. These plates and to-go containers are made from molded fiber. As a result of this choice, we prevent over 300 tons of Styrofoam from reaching waste facilities each year.
  • To-Go Salad Bowls: These eco-friendly bowls are made from raw materials derived from renewable resources. The bowls are biodegradable and compostable. The lids are 100% recyclable. All bowls are chlorine and bleach-free.
  • Reusable Rubio's Catering bags
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)-certified paper cups
  • Bio-plastic (compostable and/or recyclable) beer and Sangria cups
  • Compostable, bleach-free napkins
  • Paper menus made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper and 10% recycled materials

Eco-Friendly Restaurants

We incorporate many eco-friendly elements in our restaurants:

  • Energy efficient LED lights and "smart" lighting management systems
  • Reduced waste and recycling of building materials as well as re-using existing building materials (including HVAC, plumbing and electrical)
  • Energy Star refrigeration which reduces use of refrigerant
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Sustainable and recycled materials for panels, countertops, tables and railings
  • Palapa thatch made from discarded palm fronds
  • LOW VOC paints and California Air Resource Board (CARB) compliant millwork
  • The majority of our stores use dishware when you are dining in our restaurants instead of paper plates. This diverts approximately 350,000 pounds of paper waste from landfills every year.

A Greener Restaurant Support Center

We are taking several steps to improve eco-friendly practices at our corporate office:

  • Recycling bins for paper, plastic bottles & cans
  • Efforts to reduce printing by printing double sided, as well as presenting and sharing information in electronic format whenever possible.
  • Recycling of old computer equipment
  • FSC-certified paper used for letterhead
  • FSC-certified paper and 10% recycled paper used for business cards
  • Use of no-VOC paint in our corporate office
  • Carpet tiles and kitchen countertop made from recycled materials

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