“Our promise to source quality ingredients started when we opened the first Rubio’s restaurant in San Diego more than 30 years ago. It’s always been important to us that our guests feel good about what they are eating, and that starts with the ingredients we use.”
- Ralph Rubio, Rubio’s co-founder
Rubio’s is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain with over 150 locations in California, Arizona and Nevada. In 1983, Rubio’s introduced the Baja-style fish taco to the United States. Today, Rubio’s offers a differentiated menu of seafood-based tacos, burritos and bowls with modern Mexican flavorings.
Mill Road has worked with management to elevate Rubio’s from a “quick-service” restaurant with a fried fish specialty to a quality-driven fast casual chain with healthful, sustainably sourced, chef-crafted seafood offerings. Rubio’s award-winning food is regularly recognized by both local and national publications including USA Today (Best Fish Taco 2018) and Consumers Reports (America’s Best Mexican Restaurant Chain 2014).
Mill Road progressively built a public equity position in Rubio’s starting in 2008 and over the subsequent two years established a strong relationship with the company and a deep understanding of its operations. When the Rubio’s received a hostile takeover bid in 2010, Mill Road was well positioned with low cost stock and longstanding relationships to successfully take the company private as a white knight bidder.
Mill Road worked with management to shift the company’s focus from fried fish tacos to healthful and sustainable grilled seafood. Rubio’s is a committed friend to the ocean, serving sustainably sourced wild-caught and aquaculture seafood in eco-friendly packaging. Rubio’s is committed to serve its community and has supported over 25,000 community organizations by hosting fundraisers where a portion of sales are donated to a charitable cause.
Year of Investment