Tijuana Flats Gets New Owners And Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Tijuana Flats

Central Florida-based restaurant brand Tijuana Flats has undergone several major changes, including filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and being sold to new owners. Here’s what you need to know.

First, the new owners of Tijuana Flats are Flatheads, LLC, who listed the immense brand recognition, strong following and customer loyalty, plus future potential of the brand as some of the key reasons it was excited about its new investment in the restaurant chain.

Joe Christina, Chief Executive Officer of Tijuana Flats, said in a statement, “Our company is excited by the new ownership group’s plan to reinvest, focus, and emphasize the things that originally brought so many people to love Tijuana Flats. We understand the immediate financial actions taken by them to ensure the long-term health of this great and iconic brand.”

Christina, who joined the brand in November of 2022, will remain as CEO of the company. He is a 40-year restaurant pro who brings extensive and proven industry experience to the table, having grown notable global brands.

Tijuana Flats Dr Phillips

In conjunction with the announcement of new ownership, Tijuana Flats also said that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and has closed 11 restaurants this week. I noticed one of those was the Dr. Phillips location. The O-Town West location by me is still open.

This is a radical change in direction after Tijuana Flats announced a year ago that it planned to open 50 more restaurants by 2025.

Its executives said the sale and subsequent filing are the culmination of a strategic review that started in November of 2023 when the company began exploring various options which had included a potential sale.

They said the decision to close restaurants, though difficult, was also a result of a unit-by-unit analysis of financial performance, occupancy costs, and market conditions.

Tijuana Flats says it will continue to provide full support to its franchisees and its remaining locations will continue to operate as usual. The brand has locations in Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Flatheads, LLC said in a statement that they recognized the critical juncture at which Tijuana Flats stood, therefore felt immediate action was needed to preserve the organization.

They stated it was not only their desire to see this great brand and its legacy continue, but also to go back to basics and original roots by building on customer service, quality food, and fair prices so that the organization can thrive and reach new heights.

Tijuana Flats says it just rolled out a new menu effective April 1st together with new packaging for take-out and delivery designed to enhance the product and improve delivery times to its customers.

It also has weekly specials on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and a daily happy hour promotion.

Tijuana Flats burrito with beans and rice.

Flatheads has said its aim is to renew the restaurant’s focus on quality controls, speed of service, consistency of food, serving size, and improving the in-store experience.

As part of that goal, it plans to make renovations to many of its locations to give them a refresh and make dining at its restaurants a great choice for its customers.

We’ll bring you more on this as Flatheads reveals upcoming plans for the brand, which was founded in Winter Park in 1995.

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