Almost instantly, people were lined up at the restaurant specializing in montaditos, small sandwiches served on crispy, fresh, oven-baked bread. For a buck, you could get a Serrano ham sandwich, drizzled with olive oil. Purchase two or three, along with a $2.50 draft beer, and it was easy to see why the concept was an instant hit — a quality meal could be had for less than ten dollars. In Miami, that's virtually unheard of.
But, with all this success, the restaurant chain slipped. It could have been a case of opening too many, too soon. At its peak, there were over 300 locations worldwide and some of the Miami spots started closing, including prime locations like Lincoln Road and South Miami. Right now, only three South Florida locations remain, in West Kendall, Brickell, and the original Midtown location.
Earlier this year, 100M Holding, the parent company that operates the brand in the U.S., along with 13 of its subsidiaries and affiliates, filed for Chapter 11 relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida and is currently pending. The bankruptcy only affects Florida locations of the chain.
According to South Florida Business Journal, the company owes Sysco South Florida $11,564 and that 100 Montaditos landlords have "likely not been paid for some time or are involved in a dispute."
Bankruptcy counsel Mariaelena Gayo-Guitian, a partner at Miami-based Genovese, Joblove & Battista, P.A, which is representing 100M Holding Inc., said that the company is trying to settle with its creditors. “100M is working diligently with the appointed official creditors committee to formulate a consensual reorganization plan, including simplifying its cost structure and grouping its restaurant locations to optimize logistics and related procedures." As part of the restructuring, a new management team was appointed and a $400,000 financing loan was approved from parent 100M Montaditos Internacional S.L., which will be used to fund operating expenses.
The company, however, is determined that it will not sink. With only three locations left, it has decided to double down on Miami and expand, rather than continue to contract.
Today, 100 Montaditos announced the opening of a new Miami Lakes location. The 1,300-square-foot restaurant, located at 6843 Main St., will feature a 490-square-foot patio and seat 50 people. The restaurant opens its doors on Tuesday, July 14 and will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Julio Ramirez, manager of the 100 Montaditos Miami Lakes location, says, "We are thrilled about the opening of our new restaurant,. Our central location on Main Street will allow us to conveniently serve customers and we look forward to sharing our Spanish culture, quality offerings with the Miami Lakes community.”
To celebrate this new chapter, the restaurant will offer free food items and other promotions during the entire first week of operation. From Tuesday, July 14, through Sunday, July 19, every customer will be offered one free montadito.
With a solid business model of offering good quality food at affordable prices, coupled with a leaner portfolio and financial restructuring, it looks like this could be the catalyst for 100 Montaditos to pull itself out of its current slump.
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