Damon's Grill Launches 'Chain Of Choice' Franchise Recruitment Program

COLUMBUS, OHIO | Monday, May 20, 2002

Damon's Grill announced it has launched a new franchise recruitment program designed to double its number of restaurants over the next several years. Dubbed "Chain of Choice," the program was kicked off in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association's annual restaurant, hotel and motel show. Working with restaurant franchise consulting firm KMH Partners, Damon's is targeting more multi-unit restaurant operators who are looking to expand their portfolios. The new recruitment program follows nearly three years of work to reshape the chain and prepare it for growth. "The Damon's of today is very different than the Damon's of a few years ago," said Shannon Foust, president and CEO. "We now have a very good story, and it's time to start telling it to the franchise community." Since becoming CEO in 1999, Foust has directed the development of a new, more efficient prototype, a new brand strategy and a new menu. The chain, which currently has 142 restaurants in 28 states, the United Kingdom, Panama and Puerto Rico, also has made a number of operational improvements. Last year Damon's retained KMH Partners to conduct an extensive business review and to help develop an aggressive franchise recruitment program. "Over the years we've worked with a variety of restaurant chains, and Damon's today has as extremely appealing and competitive offering," said John Scott, principal, KMH Partners. "We'll be pursuing current multi-unit operators, including some we put into other chains, who have built out their territories or are looking for an additional concept." According to Foust and Scott, Damon's is now extremely well positioned for growth with the chain's new prototype providing strong average unit volume, excellent earnings and very attractive sales to investment ratio. Highlights of the program include: A focus on multi-unit operators in key geographic markets Friendlier franchise agreements An improved franchise approval process Revised territories Refined site criteria Increased company store development Increased franchisee support With the launch of the "Chain of Choice" program, Damon's is stepping up its franchise sales and marketing effort, and is starting a new direct mail campaign. The company expects to add 20 to 25 new restaurants in the next 12 months, as well as, sign several new multi-unit franchise development agreements. Earlier this month, Damon's announced multi-unit franchise agreements for Staten Island, N.Y. and most of New Jersey. With more than 140 company and franchised locations worldwide, Damon's Restaurants, Inc. is a leading full-service, casual dining restaurant that emphasizes grilled steaks, chicken and seafood, salads and Damon's award- winning ribs. Guests enjoy a quiet dining room or Damon's high-energy Clubhouse that features a state-of-the-art multi-screen entertainment system offering sports, network programming and interactive games. Founded in 1979, Damon's Restaurants, Inc. is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

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Damon's International
4645 Executive Dr.
Columbus, OH

Phone: (614)442-7900
Fax: (614)273-3121

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