Brocato’s Sandwich Shop, a Tampa-based concept founded in 1948, declared bankruptcy earlier this month.

The 76-year-old brand is known for its Cuban sandwiches, devil crabs, and stuffed potatoes. The chain saw a “substantial” decrease in revenue during COVID, according to the court filing. Even though Brocato’s has survived thus far, it fell behind on payments due to the Florida Department of Revenue and other vendors. The sandwich company filed bankruptcy to reorganize its debts “through a controlled, feasible repayment plan.”

Brocato’s earned $1.75 million in gross revenue in 2022 and then $2.02 million in 2023. Thus far in 2024, it’s earned roughly $741,000.

The chain owes $700,000 to the Florida Department of Revenue, $21,000 to Gordon Food Service, and $4,000 to the IRS. It also owes roughly $676,700 to various unsecured creditors. The company has 13 employees, but no wages are owed.

Meanwhile, Brocato’s listed just $14,595.89 in assets ($1,500 in cash on hand, $3,095.89 in its checking account, $9,000 in miscellaneous restaurant equipment, and $1,000 for its computer, fax/printer, and security camera system).

The company’s goals are to prevent the Florida Department of Revenue from canceling its sales tax permit and various creditors from freezing its bank accounts so that it can access funds without fear of creditor collection activity, according to court documents.

“Luckily, the revenues are still strong, and we feel pretty strong and pretty comfortable that we will emerge successfully,” said Brocato’s attorney Jonathan Semach told local TV station 10 Tampa Bay.

Over the years, Brocato’s transformed from a grocery store to meat market to finally a sandwich shop.

Brocato’s is the latest in several quick-service chains opting for bankruptcy in 2024. Others include Tijuana Flats, Oberweis Dairy, Sticky’s Finger Joint, and a small Popeyes franchisee.

Fast Food, Finance, Legal, Sandwiches, Story