Tijuana Flats Reveals Shift in Ownership

Tijuana Flats, headquartered in Central Florida, has disclosed today that a fresh ownership consortium has acquired the brand with a vision to rejuvenate its eateries and invigorate the customer experience. This transition heralds a new era for the establishment, which has been a fixture for nearly three decades. The new owners, Flatheads, LLC, have cited the brand’s substantial recognition, devoted following, customer loyalty, and future potential as pivotal factors igniting their enthusiasm for investing in the restaurant chain. Until this month’s ownership shift, Tijuana Flats was under the ownership of TJF USA, LLC.

Joe Christina, the Chief Executive Officer of Tijuana Flats, expressed excitement about the new ownership group’s strategy to reinvest in and accentuate the qualities that initially endeared Tijuana Flats to countless patrons. He acknowledged the immediate financial measures undertaken by the new owners to safeguard the brand’s long-term prosperity.

In tandem with the ownership announcement, Tijuana Flats has revealed that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has shuttered 11 restaurants this week. Company executives clarified that the sale and subsequent filing stem from a strategic review initiated in November 2023, exploring various options, including a potential sale. The decision to close restaurants, though arduous, was informed by a meticulous assessment of financial performance, occupancy costs, and market dynamics. Tijuana Flats remains committed to fully supporting its franchisees, and its surviving locations will continue operations as usual.

Flatheads, LLC acknowledged the critical juncture at which Tijuana Flats finds itself and deemed immediate action necessary to preserve the organization. They expressed a commitment not only to perpetuating the brand’s legacy but also to returning to its foundational principles by prioritizing customer service, food quality, and fair pricing to foster growth and ascend to new heights.

Joe Christina, who assumed leadership of the brand in November 2022, will continue as CEO. With over 40 years of industry expertise, Christina is poised to steer the company forward. He affirmed his dedication to providing guests with flavorful Tex-Mex cuisine and an unparalleled dining experience.

The new ownership group expressed confidence in the changes already implemented by Christina and anticipates collaborating with him and his leadership team to fortify the brand. Notably, Tijuana Flats has recently introduced a revamped menu and new packaging for takeout and delivery, aimed at enhancing the product and expediting delivery times. Flatheads aims to prioritize quality control, service speed, food consistency, portion sizes, and in-store experience enhancements. Renovations are planned for many locations to rejuvenate the dining experience.

Christina reiterated the commitment to preserving Tijuana Flats’ corporate culture and vision, supporting team members and franchisees, and serving the communities they operate in. With the new ownership structure and a robust strategic plan, Tijuana Flats is poised for a resurgence in the fast-casual segment, with ambitions to evolve and expand its brand footprint while continuing to serve its communities diligently.

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