Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe announced on Friday that it will temporarily suspend dinner and late night service at both its Emeryville and Oakland locations. The announcement, published on their website, touched off some concerns amid swirling rumors of the direction of the beloved establishment that helped put “E’ville” on the map.
“We’re not selling the company and we’re not going out business” noted Rudy’s founder and co-owner Jeffery Bischoff through email. Bischoff was quick to dismiss any rumors about the long-term viability of the establishment he founded in Emeryville in 2002 and expanded to Oakland in 2011. “We are simply restructuring the organization. We’re updating training programs and manuals and doing some much-needed maintenance. There are no code or city violations that are causing this. It was an internal decision made by the owners.”
Restaurants have been especially vulnerable to recent labor laws and many are struggling to adapt quick enough to stay afloat. Labor laws that mandate higher wages yet do not provide a tip exemptions and more recently scheduling ordinances that would hinder their ability to adjust to surges in business which restaurants are notorious for. Restaurants already operate under the thinnest of profit margins and will need to optimize efficiencies if they are to remain sustainable long-term.
Bischoff has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the restaurants for some time but decided to put a pause on his consulting business to return to one of his first true loves. “I came back from a family retreat in the mountains and made the decision to commit 100% of my time to Rudy’s”.
Bischoff first made the difficult decision to dramatically scale back service to allow time to make these adjustments. “We can either try to rebuild the engine while speeding down the highway, or slow things down a bit. Temporarily reducing our hours will give us time to retool including new equipment, training, technology and some cosmetic updates”.
“I take great pride in the restaurants we built and the community that we serve. I live in Oakland and I have heard loud and clear from our customers, friends and family. This restructure is part of our commitment to giving Rudy’s customers the level of service they want and deserve.”
– Mike Dirnt (Green Day Bassist/Rudy’s Co-Owner)
Bischoff notes there are no planned layoffs as a result of the diminished shifts and he hopes to see all his employees through this transition and back to work. “We’re taking the ‘Longview’ of things” citing a popular Green Day song. “Like a good track needs a strong bass-line, we need to a strong foundation to build and grow our business on.”
Bischoff could not commit to a timeframe on returning to normal business hours. “We hope to be back to our normal 7 am to 1 am hours as soon as possible.” Bischoff even acknowledged the possibility of a third East Bay location that they are currently evaluating. “We’re not going anywhere” he added emphatically.