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Rubios Goes Zero Trans Fat

by The Editors on July 9, 2007

RubiosLooks like all that tasty trans fat that we used to love at Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill is going to be gone soon. The Carlsbad-based restaurant chain is completing its conversion to using zero trans fat canola oil for cooking all menu products, in all 160 restaurants by mid-August.

Our goal in transitioning to zero trans fat oil was to continue delivering unsurpassed flavor and quality in all the foods we serve,” said Larry Rusinko, vice president of marketing, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill. “We look at this milestone as an improvement to our menu and a way to enhance our guests’ experience by incorporating a more healthful cooking ingredient,” he said.

How are we going to clog our arteries now?

[Link: CNN/Money]

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Rubio’s Shutters 48 California Locations

by The Editors on June 3, 2024

Carlsbad, California based purveyor of fine fish tacos Rubio’s Coastal Grill announced to employees on June 1, 2024 that they have closed 48 restaurants in California, reportedly giving employees in the affected stores zero warning nor severance, according to a story in the Orange County Register.

“Making the decision to close a store is never an easy one,” the company said in a statement. “Rubio’s … after a thorough review of its operations and the current business climate, has decided to close 48 underperforming locations in California as of May 31. The closings were brought about by the rising cost of doing business in California. While painful, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic long-term plan to position Rubio’s for success for years to come.”

Looks like the once regal, local restaurant success story has fallen on hard times . . again. We never eat there, so maybe management knows what’s up. These closures leave the company with a total of 86 stores still operating in California, Arizona, and Nevada. More on this story as it develops.

[Editor’s Note June 6, 2024: The company has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time since 2020. This time the owners hope to sell the business.]

[Link: Orange County Register]

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Rubio’s 5th Annual CoastFest July 16

by The Editors on July 11, 2016


The Carlsbad based fish taco restaurant chain Rubio’s is kicking off their 5th Annual CoastFest on Saturday July 16, 2016  at the Oceanside Pier, in partnership with I Love a Clean San Diego.

Rubio’s CoastFest has continued to grow year after year, with a record turnout of nearly 3,000 attendees and over 1,000 pounds of trash removed from the coastline in 2015. This year’s event is expected to be even larger than years past and will include live performances by one of Billboard magazine’s chart-ranking artists, The Mowgli’s, as well as the popular San Diego children’s band Hullaballoo, among others.

The event begins at 10 AM with a full on beach clean up. After that there is complimentary food and drinks, music, a educational play area for the kids and much, much more. For the official details from Rubio’s please follow the jump.
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April 5, 2016 Is Ralph Rubio Day

by The Editors on April 1, 2016

Ralph_RubioThe City of San Diego has named April 5, 2015 Ralph Rubio Day in honor of Carlsbad businessman (and Rubio’s Coastal Grill Co-Founder) Ralph Rubio (right) for “his entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to the community and contributions to the food industry.”

A San Diego State University alumnus, Ralph brought his love of fish tacos to the United States after a college trip to Baja California, Mexico. 33 years after opening the first Rubio’s restaurant – a walk-up fish taco stand in Mission Bay – Rubio’s Coastal Grill has established a passionate fan base throughout the Southwestern United States and has largely been credited for starting the fish taco phenomenon in America. Cited by The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times as the country’s top fish taco expert, Rubio’s Coastal Grill has sold more than 200 million Original Fish Tacos®.

In honor of Ralph Rubio Day, Rubios is offering their original fish taco for $1.75 at all San Diego County Rubio’s Coastal Grill locations (including the location at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets) all day on April 5, 2016. If you’re hungry, you might want to stop by. For the official word from Rubio’s please follow the jump.

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Rubio’s In Food Court Over Sale

by The Editors on May 18, 2010

Rubios LogoThe Carlsbadistan based fish taco popularizer Rubio’s just announced that they are planning to sell the company and already at least one shareholder is suing, according to the North County Times.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of investor Gregory Burt and other shareholders by the San Diego law firm Robbins Umeda LLP. Attorneys are seeking class action status for the suit, filed in the Vista branch of San Diego Superior Court. . . The lawsuit asks that the court declare the purchase agreement “unlawful and unenforceable,” and to order the defendants to redo the sale to get the best price for Rubio’s shareholders.

Looks like they’re headed for a fish taco showdown.

[Link: North County Times]

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Rubio’s Fish Tacos Sold For $91 Million

by The Editors on May 11, 2010

Rubios LogoCarlsbadistan’s world famous Rubio’s Fish Taco restaurants has agreed to be purchased by a Greenwich, Connecticut based private equity firm called Mill Road Capital, according to a Bradley Fikes story in the North County Times.

If the deal goes through, Rubio’s stockholders will get $8.70 per share. That’s about 45 percent more than the closing price on Oct. 14, just before Rubio’s disclosed an unsolicited offer, the company said. . . Rubio’s board declined that particular offer from a group headed by Los Angeles-based investor Alex Meruelo. But Rubio’s said it was open to receiving other offers. . . Shares closed Monday after the sale announcement at $8.50 each, up 84 cents from Friday’s close of $7.66.

Rubio’s founder Ralph Rubio says he and the management team will be staying on with the company. “They like what we’re doing, they appreciate the management team, and the results we’ve had, so the management team stays on in our current roles,” Rubio said.

Then again that’s what the new owners always say, isn’t it?

[Link: North County Times]

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Rubio’s Buyout Offer Up To $85 Million

by The Editors on January 28, 2010

Rubios LogoAlex Meruelo and private-equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners have upped their previous offer of $80 million to purchase Rubio’s Restaurants to $85 million according to a story in Nation’s Restaurant News.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rubio’s had yet to respond to the latest offer, which totals $8.50 per share. Rubio’s rejected the first proposal in late October, at $8 per share, saying it was not in the best interest of the company’s shareholders. . . Carlsbad-based Rubio’s, which operates or franchises about 195 Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill locations.

Maybe they should just hold out for $100 million? That’s a nice round number.

[Link: Nation’s Restaurant News]

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Rubio’s Says No Thank You To Buyout

by The Editors on October 30, 2009

Rubios LogoLooks like the ownership of Carlsbadistan-based Mexican fast-casual chain Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. is not going to be sold after all, according to The Deal.

Mexican-themed casual dining chain Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. said late Thursday, Oct. 29, it rejected an $80 million buyout offer from shareholder Alex Meruelo and private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Rubio’s board said the $8 per share bid, announced Oct. 14, was not in the best interest of its stockholders.

But that isn’t stopping the company from looking for other buyers who may offer more.

[Link: The Deal]

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Rubio’s Reeled In For $49.7 Million?

by The Editors on October 20, 2008

Carlsbadistan’s Rubio’s Restaurants could be the target of a buyout as San Diego’s Kelly Capital investment firm makes an “unsolicited offer” for the company, according to a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Dan Pittard, president and chief executive officer of Rubio’s, said the company’s board will meet next week to consider the offer, which is subject to Kelly Capital obtaining financing. He declined to comment further. . . . The $5-per-share offer by Kelly Capital, made in a letter dated Wednesday, represented a 26 percent premium on Rubio’s closing price that day of $3.97. Rubio’s shares closed yesterday at $4.28.

The way Rubio’s business has been headed lately, we’d take the money.

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune]

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Sales Down At Rubio’s

by The Editors on May 14, 2008

The Carlsbad-based fish taco restaurant chain Rubio’s announced their first quarter 2008 results yesterday and while revenues rose 2.9% for the quarter comparable store sales decreased by 3 percent and the company actually lost $745,000.

“Our first quarter results are indicative of the overall challenging macroeconomic environment, and in particular, higher gasoline prices and the weak housing markets in Arizona, Nevada and parts of California. Over the past several months, we have undergone a vigorous assessment of the opportunities to better leverage our resources and gain efficiencies in our cost structure, while continuing to focus on delivering unique products and an unsurpassed guest experience. Notably, we reduced our corporate support staff by just over 10% at the end of April and have several initiatives underway to lower food and labor costs while maintaining the integrity of our brand. We believe this balanced approach will better position us to achieve our profit goals in the near term and still execute our longer term strategy,” said Dan Pittard, Rubio’s President and CEO.

Sounds like Dan is blaming everything but the food. We’re slowly learning that if your only big idea is to reduce production costs, you might want to re-think your business strategy entirely.

[Link: PRnewswire]

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