The fast-casual Mexican-food chain Rubio's Restaurants, which is based in Carlsbad, filed a petition for bankruptcy on Monday in Delaware.
Rubio's confirmed the filing in a statement released on Monday:
"Rubio’s Restaurant’s … announced today that it has reached agreement on a comprehensive financial restructuring with its sponsor, Mill Road Capital, and its lenders, funds managed by Golub Capital, to recapitalize the company. To implement the restructuring, the company filed a prepackaged plan with the acceptance of its lenders, and voluntarily filed petitions for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware."
The chain has more than 150 locations with more than 3,500 workers in California, Arizona and Nevada. It operates nearly a half-dozen restaurants just in its hometown of Carlsbad, and dozens of others around San Diego County.
Rubio's spokewoman Anita-Marie Laurie said on Monday that the company wanted to stress to diners that "our restaurants are open as normal."
The company said in Monday's statement that more than two dozen locations -- most of which were in Florida and Colorado -- which were shuttered when the pandemic hit, would close permanently. A "small number" of other locations that were still closed due to the pandemic may reopen as restrictions are relaxed.
Company founder Ralph Rubio maintained a positive tone in a quote attributed to him in Monday's statement.
“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Rubio’s, like most businesses, and I’m proud of how we have responded to the challenge. Our investments in critical digital technologies in 2019, including online ordering, a mobile app, a new loyalty program and Rubio’s delivery, allowed us to pivot swiftly under varying state and county restrictions…. . This restructuring plan creates the long-term financial stability we need to continue to serve our communities for years to come.”
The first Rubio's opened its doors in Mission Bay in 1983, according to the company bio.