Taco Bell Dining Rooms in 3 Oakland Restaurants Closed Over Crime Fear

Estimated read time 3 min read

A Taco Bell franchisee has shut the dining rooms of at least three restaurants in Oakland, California, over fears about crime.

The dining rooms of restaurants on Bancroft Avenue, 35th Avenue, and Telegraph Avenue are all listed as closed on Taco Bell’s website, though the drive-thrus remain open.

Taco Bell told CNN that the restaurant franchisee, Diversified Restaurant Group, closed the dining rooms.

“The franchise owner and operator has informed us that they are consistently evaluating and working to ensure a safe environment by implementing procedures, such as closing dining rooms, and hiring security guards, and they have taken extra measures to meet with local law enforcement,” Taco Bell told the outlet in a statement.

The local station KPIX-TV reported that the restaurant on 35th Avenue had been robbed four times since November, two of which happened while the restaurant was open.

Crime records for the last 90 days viewed by Business Insider indicate there was a burglary with forcible entry and a car burglary reported at the Telegraph Avenue restaurant address earlier this year. The incidents were just days apart.

There was also a reported burglary with forcible entry listed at the 35th Avenue restaurant address in February and two reports of battery and one of a shooting at the Bancroft Avenue restaurant address in the last 90 days.

The Oakland Police Department noted that the exact address of each reported crime is substituted with the block address, so it is not immediately clear whether these incidents occurred at these restaurants.

Taco Bell’s website lists five restaurants in Oakland. A restaurant on Hegenberger Road appears to be the only Taco Bell in the city that still has an open dining room, though it only has limited opening hours — from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., its schedule on Taco Bell’s website shows.

The Telegraph Road restaurant appears to be closed.

BI has contacted Taco Bell and Diversified Restaurant Group for comment.

Target, In-N-Out, and Denny’s have all closed Oakland locations

The news of Taco Bell’s dining-room closures comes amid reports of rising crime in the California city.

Target said in September that it was closing a store in Oakland over concerns about theft and retail crime.

In January, the West Coast burger chain In-N-Out Burger said it was closing its Oakland restaurant, which its COO attributed to the “frequency and severity” of crimes its customers and staff experienced or witnessed, including car break-ins, property damage, theft, and armed robberies. In-N-Out Burger still has a restaurant in nearby Alameda.

About a week later, Denny’s said that it was closing its 24-hour diner close to Oakland International Airport and Oakland Arena to prioritize staff and customer safety after 54 years of operation.

Do you work in fast food? Got a story? Email this reporter at gdean@insider.com.