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Luby's, Inc.
Russell Microcap Index component
IndustryCasual dining restaurant
Founded1947; 74 years ago (1947) (as Luby's Cafeterias, Inc.)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
FatePending liquidation
HeadquartersHouston, Texas, U.S.
Key people
  • Christopher J. Pappas (President and CEO)
  • K. Scott Gray (Senior vice-president and CFO)
  • Peter Tropoli (COO)
  • B. Todd Coutee (Senior vice-president of operations)
ProductsHomestyle food, cafeteria, American
RevenueDecreaseUS$323.47 million (2019)
IncreaseUS$−15.226 million (2019)
Number of employees
6133 (2019)
Koo Koo Roo
Cheeseburger in Paradise

Luby's, Inc. (formerly Luby's Cafeterias, Inc.) is a parent company that operates restaurants under the brands Luby's, Fuddruckers, Koo Koo Roo, and Cheeseburger in Paradise.

77 Luby's cafeteria-style restaurants[1] are located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, and other cities throughout Texas; plus one in Mississippi. Its headquarters is in the Near Northwest district of Houston, Texas. The original location was founded in 1947 in San Antonio, Texas by Robert Luby (1910–1998).

Its Fuddruckers restaurants include 49 company-operated restaurants and 107 franchises across the United States with two in Saskatchewan, Canada, two in Mérida, Mexico, and three in Panama City, Panama. Luby's Culinary Services provides contract food service management to eighteen healthcare, higher education, and corporate dining locations, such as Texas Children's Hospital, Lone Star College, and formerly, Baylor College of Medicine, which ended its relationship with Luby's in March 2015.[2][3][4]


Luby's headquarters in Near Northwest and in Houston, 2011.

Bob Luby was one year old when his father, Harry, opened his first cafeteria called the New England Dairy Lunch. Bob opened his first Luby's Cafeteria in 1947, focusing on fresh food and customer service.[5] Luby's soon expanded outside of San Antonio to Tyler, Harlingen, El Paso, and Beaumont.

In 1959, the original partners formed Cafeterias, Inc. Luby's continued to expand, entering other Texas cities and locations in contiguous states. Luby's entered Houston for the first time when it opened Romana Cafeteria in 1965. Locations opened in New Mexico in 1966 and in Oklahoma in 1980.

In 1973, Cafeterias, Inc. became a publicly traded company.[5] To honor Bob Luby, Cafeterias, Inc., was renamed Luby's Cafeterias, Inc., in 1981. One year later, Luby's shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. By 1987 Luby's had reached 100 locations.[citation needed] The company operated in 11 states in 1996, having over 200 restaurants at that time.[6]

In 2001, Chris and Harris Pappas of Houston's Pappas Restaurants (owners of Pappasito's Cantina, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, etc.) joined the Luby's management team. Three years later, Luby's moved its corporate headquarters from San Antonio to Houston.[7] The addition of the Pappas management team saw several Luby's restaurants begin to transition from traditional cafeteria-style establishments to hybrid cafeteria/fine dining.[8]

Luby's celebrated its 60th anniversary in December 2006 with publishing “Luby’s Recipes & Memories: A Collection of our Favorite Dishes and Heartwarming Stories".[9] In 2008, Luby's published a special edition of the cookbook that included 12 additional recipes.[10]

In 2009, due to the economic recession, Luby's closed 25 stores and laid off staff as a cost-cutting measure.[11]

In 2010 Luby's Culinary Services introduced "What's Brewing?", a coffeehouse concept store in Downtown Houston.[12]

The same year, on June 18, Luby's announced it was buying Fuddruckers and Koo Koo Roo for $61 million after parent company Magic Brands LLC went bankrupt.[13] On June 13, 2011, Luby's opened its first company-owned Fuddruckers restaurant in downtown Houston's seven-mile (11 km) tunnel system.[citation needed]

In 2013, Luby's acquired Cheeseburger in Paradise.

There were 93 Luby's in August 2015, and this declined to 78 in 2019. Technomic consumer insights senior manager Robert Byrne stated that the fast casual restaurants reduced Luby's market share.[6]

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Luby's Inc furloughed more than half of its corporate staff and cut the pay of remaining salaried employees by 50 percent. Luby's Inc also applied for and received a loan of US$10 million as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).[14]

Closure and dissolution[edit]

On June 3, 2020, Luby's Board of Directors announced plans to sell all its operating divisions and assets, including real estate assets.[15] This decision was influenced in part by circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Net proceeds from transactions will benefit Luby's stockholders. The company did not have a definitive timeline for future transactions, but expected to eventually wind down remaining operations.

On September 8, 2020, Luby's further announced it has adopted a plan to liquidate all of its existing assets, as opposed to operating in the current form or merely selling off divisions.[16][17]

As of September 11, 2020, there were 80 Luby's and Fuddruckers still in operation.[18]

99% of Luby's stockholders voted for dissolution in November 2020.[19] Luby’s will close all locations by August 2021.[20]

Luby's shooting[edit]

A deadly mass shooting occurred at a Luby's restaurant at 1705 East Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, Texas, on October 16, 1991, when George Hennard gunned down 23 people before committing suicide.[21] This location reopened after cleanup and redesign of the front wall; it closed permanently on September 9, 2000.[22]


Luby's has its headquarters in Suite 600 of the 13111 Northwest Freeway building in the Near Northwest district and in Houston, Texas.[23][24]

In July 2004, Luby's announced that it would move its headquarters from San Antonio to Houston, where Pappas Restaurants has its headquarters. At that time Luby's did not yet state to where it would be moving; the company stated that it would most likely move to a suburb in Greater Houston. 80 jobs were transferred to Houston.[25][26]

In media[edit]

The "Lu Ann Platter", a popular combination platter served at Luby's, is a half portion main dish with vegetables. This plate was the inspiration for the character name Luanne Platter from the animated Texas comedy/drama, King of the Hill.[27] The cafeteria itself is characterized as "Luly's" on the show.[28]


  1. ^ "Luby's Locations". Luby's. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  2. ^ Wollam, Allison (January 19, 2010). "Luby's cooks up Lone Star College deal". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Luby's Culinary Services".
  4. ^ "Luby's Opens New Dining Facility at Baylor College of Medicine". Red Orbit. August 20, 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b Hlavaty, Craig (2018-09-19). "The story of how Luby's became a Texas comfort food staple". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  6. ^ a b Valdez, Andrea (2019-11-25). "A Chain Reaction". Texas Observer. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  7. ^ Aldridge, James (July 16, 2004). "San Antonio Business Journal". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  8. ^ Wollam, Allison (December 3, 2006). "Luby's to dish out new design with Post Oak remodel". Houston Business Journal.
  9. ^ Oelrich, Shannon. "Where Texans Go To Eat". Texas Co-Op Power. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Luby's Cafeteria Recipes". Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Luby's closes 25 stores." KTRK-TV. Monday November 16, 2009. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  12. ^ "Luby’s posts 2Q net loss as sales slide." Houston Business Journal. Thursday March 18, 2010.
  13. ^ Baertlein, Lisa (June 18, 2010). "UPDATE 1-Luby's buys Fuddruckers for $61 million". Reuters. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  14. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia. "Luby's receives PPP loan, delisting warning". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Luby's Announces it will Pursue Sale of its Operations and Assets and Distribute Net Proceeds to Stockholders" (PDF). Luby's. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  16. ^ Price, Robert (September 8, 2020). "Loyal customers saddened as Luby's announces plans to dissolve company". WOAI-TV. Retrieved September 8, 2020. This Plan of Liquidation is the next logical step in the Company's previously announced plan to maximize value of the Company through the sale of its operations and assets," Gerald Bodzy and Randolph Read, co-chairmen of the special committee responsible for the decision, said in a statement. "Our stockholders have expressed their support for seeking alternatives to continuing to operate the Company's restaurants in their current form, and we believe the Plan of Liquidation will allow the Company to accomplish that task in the most efficient manner.
  17. ^ Solomon, Dan (September 8, 2020). "Luby's Is Liquidating Its Assets and Dissolving the Company". Texas Monthly. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  18. ^ Rosenthal, Abigail (September 11, 2020). "Luby's executive assures fans that the Texas icon is still open". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  19. ^ Drane, Amanda (2020-11-17). "Luby's shareholders vote overwhelmingly in favor of liquidation, dissolving the business". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  20. ^ "Texas' beloved Luby's Cafeteria chain reveals timeline for shuttering all remaining locations". CultureMap Houston.
  21. ^ Shooting rampage at Killeen Luby's left 24 dead Houston Chronicle, August 10, 2001
  22. ^ "Luby's in Killeen, Texas, site of 1991 massacre, closes its doors." CNN. September 11, 2000. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  23. ^ "Area Map Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine." Near Northwest. Retrieved on February 8, 2011.
  24. ^ "Contact." Luby's. Retrieved on February 8, 2011. "Office 13111 Northwest Freeway, Suite 600 Houston, Texas 77040."
  25. ^ Athavaley, Anjali. "CAFETERIA STYLE / Home is where the CEO is / Luby's will move its headquarters to Houston, bringing 80 jobs along." Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine Houston Chronicle. Saturday July 17, 2004. Business 1. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  26. ^ Aldridge, James. "Luby's relocating corporate headquarters to Houston." San Antonio Business Journal. Friday July 16, 2004. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  27. ^ Anita Belles Porterfield; John Porterfield (15 May 2015). Death on Base: The Fort Hood Massacre. University of North Texas Press. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-1-57441-596-4.
  28. ^ "Hill Bent". Texas Monthly. February 1, 1997.

External links[edit]