Peppermill Grill Rolled Out At Annual Convention

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Kitchen Investment Group, the franchisor of Country Kitchen Restaurants, announced the addition of Peppermill Grill to its franchise offerings at the company's annual convention. Peppermill Grill is a new casual dining concept with a full bar and lunch and dinner items emphasizing peppercorn and other bold flavors. The new brand is available to existing franchisees and new investors.

"Peppermill Grill is all about flavor," said Charles M. Myers, Chief Executive Officer. "It's a concept that incorporates unique spices and flavors into the food and service. This is a great addition to Country Kitchen Restaurants. We can now offer franchise opportunities for a great grill and bar, as well as the best breakfast concept available." Still in development, the Peppermill Grill menu is designed around the flavor profile alluded to in the new concept's name. Whether on a burger, steak, or pasta, an array of peppercorns and other flavors will be featured in many of the menu items. Servers are Flavor Ambassadors who bring peppermills with various spices right to the table. Choosing and adding flavor will be a part of the dining experience at the Peppermill Grill. Peppercorn selections will offer diverse flavor profiles that can be mixed together for new combinations. A full bar including signature cocktails like the Peppered Bloody Mary will be available at all locations. Peppermill Grill can be designed for 160 or 240 seat dining room in 4,100 and 5,100 square foot buildings. An eclectic collection of artwork will create the feeling of a spice marketplace. The designs incorporate a sophisticated style that is still comfortable and casual. The color palate, inspired by burnt oranges, rich reds, chocolate browns, golds and greens, will add to the pleasurable dining experience.

The new brand is immediately available to current Country Kitchen franchisees as an integration into existing operations. Opportunities for complete conversions to Peppermill Grill will be available in 2006. Integrations will give current operators a new way to drive lunch and dinner business to the existing Country Kitchen facility. Conversions will target franchisees and new investors looking to break into the casual dining segment.

"We have had long conversations with our franchisees about the competitive pressure brought on by casual dining concepts," said Myers. "Peppermill Grill gives us a new way to battle the competitive intrusion by these chains. Integrations and conversions are flexible to different trade area and real estate situations." Growth plans will be focused on all three opportunities for the Peppermill Grill: integration, conversion, and prototype. Initial results of the first integration have been very positive. The first prototype will be opened in Madison, WI in 2006, and will be owned and operated by Kitchen Investment Group. The location will be a proving ground for menu concepts and operations initiatives for the Peppermill Grill brand.

Discussions for more locations have begun with several existing Country Kitchen operators. Many see it as an opportunity to expand within their trade area, but not compete with their existing business. A trade area or town that could not support two Country Kitchens might support a Country Kitchen and a Peppermill Grill. Myers hopes to use the existing strength of Country Kitchen's purchasing power to pave the way for expansion of Peppermill Grill. Between new investors and existing franchisees, Myers plans to open three to four Peppermills in 2006.

Country Kitchen also offers co-branding opportunities with Breadea�x Pizza. In addition to offering the full Country Kitchen menu, these locations offer pizza for dine in, take out and delivery. Offering the Country Kitchen menu for delivery gives co-branded locations a competitive advantage over other pizza concepts.

Country Kitchen International is a leader in full-service family restaurants with locations in 26 states. Headquarters are based in Madison, WI. Country Kitchen and Peppermill Grill are registered trademarks of Kitchen Investment Group.

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Country Kitchen International
6405 Century Avenue, Ste. 001
Middleton, WI

Phone: (888) 359-3235
Toll Free: (888) 359-3235
Fax: (608) 826-9080

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