There's something fishy about these restaurants, but it's not suspicious in any way. Rubio's Restaurants operates a popular chain of more than 200 Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill fast-casual restaurants found mostly in Southern California. The eateries feature a "Beach Mex" menu of fish tacos, lobster burritos, shrimp quesadillas, and other seafood dishes from the Baja region of Mexico. Rubio's has a small number of franchised and licensed locations, including specialty units at San Diego's Petco Park Stadium (home of the San Diego Padres) and the Honda Center in Anaheim, California (home ice for the Anaheim Ducks). Investment firm Mill Road Capital took the company private in 2010.
Looking to return cash to shareholders, Rubio's agreed to the $90 million buyout by Mill Road. The deal followed a series of buyout offers from other investors, including an $85 million bid from California businessman Alex Meruelo backed by Levine Leichtman Capital.
Rubio's has been focused on cost containment efforts, as well as menu development to drive additional traffic to its eateries. Rubio's has historically taken a slow-growth approach to expansion, focusing on building new corporate-run locations. – less