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100 Montaditos files for bankruptcy in US

100 Montaditos files for bankruptcy in US

Popular Spanish chain had planned aggressive growth

100 Montaditos put its U.S. operations into federal bankruptcy protection this week, putting at least a temporary halt to the popular Spanish chain’s hopes to make it big here.

The Chapter 11 reorganization only affects 100 Montaditos’ U.S. operations, and does not impact the more than 300 locations the chain has in Spain and other countries.

The fast-casual chain, which specializes in bite-sized sandwiches known as “montaditos,” has 17 units in the U.S., seven of which are company owned and 10 of which are franchised.

The cause or extent of the bankruptcy remains uncertain. Numerous filings were submitted in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, including one filing for 100 M Holding Inc., the parent company that operates and franchises the brand in the U.S.

The filings in the case do not provide an indication of the extent of the company’s debt or liabilities, though one filing lists the company’s assets as ranging from $500,000 to $1 million, and its liabilities from $1 million to $10 million. Creditors include landlords, franchisees and suppliers, including Sysco and Diners Club.

Michael Joblove, attorney with the law firm of Genovese Joblove & Battista, which represents 100 Montaditos, said in an email that the bankruptcy was filed “to permit the company to restructure certain obligations relating to the operations in the United States.”

100 Montaditos was founded in Spain in 2000 and has more than 300 locations there, plus another 50 units in other countries. It is one of the most popular restaurant chains in Spain.

The company first opened in Florida four years ago, with a goal to expand aggressively in the U.S. The mostly fast-casual concept offers the bite-sized sandwiches made on small baguettes with premium ingredients. Diners typically order three to five sandwiches.

The sandwiches are common in Spanish tapas bars, but the brand also offers paella, calamari, sandwiches and other items. The company had worked to import more U.S.-style menu items and strategies, with combo meals of three montaditos, fries and a drink, and items like Philly cheesesteak and barbecue pork.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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