Aj Seafoods announced Tuesday that it plans to shutter two restaurants, with no immediate word on whether the closures will affect the chain’s annual profits.
The company said it has no immediate plans to open new restaurants in the United States or to expand into other markets.
“This is a difficult decision that we have made because we are in a very difficult economic environment,” the company said in a statement.
“We want to focus on our mission to serve the best seafood available at the best price.”
Aj said it would keep the locations open, but would be closing at least three restaurants and possibly four.
It said it planned to open two new locations in New York and Philadelphia.
The chain, which started in Washington state in 2012, has been plagued by high food prices.
The average cost of a single serving of Aj crab was $2.90 in January, according to data from the National Restaurant Association.
The median price of a serving was $3.50.
Aj, founded in 2012 in an Oregon town by a team of chefs and was the first restaurant to serve crab meat, has faced criticism from some consumers and lawmakers.
A restaurant critic, who requested anonymity to speak freely, wrote in a blog post for The Washington Times that the company’s seafood had become too salty, which she said was hurting the crab’s health.
“The price of this fish is too high,” the critic wrote.
“I’m going to stop eating it.”
Last year, Congress voted to cut off the federal food stamp program, which gives people cash assistance to buy food.
The measure passed in the House, but was vetoed by President Donald Trump.
The Senate did not vote on the measure.