Restaurants

Fiesta Restaurant Group returning $15 million in small business rescue loans

Key Points
  • Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana restaurant chains, said it was repaying and returning $15 million in loans under the the Paycheck Protection Program, according to an SEC filing.
  • The loans were initially revealed in a Morgan Stanley report on large public companies that received the loans.
  • Fiesta did not say why it was returning the funds.
Source: Taco Cabana

Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana restaurant brands, announced Wednesday in an SEC filing that the company will be repaying and returning $15 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program of the coronavirus relief package.

That is the full amount of loans the company received.

Fiesta's loans were originally revealed in a report published by Morgan Stanley on large public companies that got the funds, which were designed to help small businesses.

The restaurant company got loans from JPMorgan Chase Bank to Pollo Operations Inc. and Texas Taco Cabana, LP, indirect subsidiaries of Fiesta, according to an 8-K filing.

Fiesta employs more than 10,000 people, according to its most recent reported annual number. The company had $159.5 million in total revenue in its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, down from $167.6 million a year earlier. 

Shares of Fiesta were up more than 20% in midday trading Wednesday. The company has a market cap of more than $205 million.

The 8-K did not say why Fiesta was returning the money. Fiesta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. JPMorgan declined to comment.

A Change.org petition was started to get the company to return the money and it received more than 300 signatures.

There has been public outrage after it was revealed many publicly traded companies received the loans, with many of them deciding to return the funds.

The federal government issued guidance last week that suggested publicly traded companies that got the loans should return them.