33-year-old Specialty’s bakery-cafe chain closes

In closing its more than 40 locations, the company said the coronavirus has “decimated” sales.
Photo courtesy of Specialty's

The coronavirus is forcing the permanent closure of all of the more than 40 units of the Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery chain, the company announced.

Tuesday will be the chain’s last day in business.

“Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery is closing after 33 years of business,” the Pleasanton, Calif.-based chain said in the announcement. “Current market conditions attributed to COVID-19 and shelter-in-place policies have decimated company revenues.”

The bakery-cafe concept had units in California, Illinois and Washington.

It had not been doing well pre-pandemic, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. Same-store sales dropped more than 11% in 2019 from the year before, and the company shuttered eight units.

Specialty’s began in its founder’s garage in 1987.

It is one of a growing number of restaurants, both independents and chains, that have announced permanent closures or bankruptcies amid the pandemic.


Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


It's time to send 'ghost kitchen' to the graveyard

Tech Check: The catch-all term for delivery restaurants is no longer accurate. Let’s lay it to rest and come up with a new label.


Higher-end consumers may be slowing their spending

The Bottom Line: There is some evidence that higher-income consumers may be cutting back. Or maybe there was just some pent-up demand.


Wonder bets meal kits aren't dead yet

Tech Check: By acquiring the struggling Blue Apron, the restaurant delivery concept believes it can touch more dining occasions. But will it work?


More from our partners