Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom Announces Year Of Unprecedented Growth

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Craft Beer Authority Opens Eight Locations and Expands into Six New Markets in 2015

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, a traditional casual dining restaurant known for its delicious, handcrafted pizza, distinctive taproom fare and vast craft beer selection, announced today unprecedented growth in 2015 after reporting $254 million in system-wide revenue, up 13 percent over 2014, and an eight percent growth in the number of corporate and franchised units. Additionally, the brand signed franchise agreements in 2015, which brought new restaurants to markets that include Joplin, Missouri and Sioux City, Iowa.

"We are thrilled with the growth we saw in 2015 and are extremely optimistic that 2016 will be Old Chicago's best year yet," said Mike Mrlik, president of Old Chicago. "Our overall success is largely due in part to our incredibly hard working team of operators, franchisees and Craft Beer Guides across our locations nationwide. As we dive deeper into Old Chicago's 40th anniversary year, our sights are set on propelling the brand's growth and celebrating many more milestones in 2016."

Old Chicago also introduced its concept to six new markets last year, including Columbia, South Carolina; Katy Ranch, Texas; Pueblo, Colorado; Sioux City, Iowa; Joplin and Shoal Creek, Missouri. The brand is on track to develop more than 30 restaurants by 2018.

Franchisee Amro Samy opened Old Chicago's first locations in Garden City and Manhattan, Kansas in 2014, with a third location in development in Salina, Kansas. Samy and his business partner have plans to develop another two restaurants in market in the coming years. When considering franchise opportunities, Samy wanted a concept that delivered a consistent brand promise to his community.

"As a new Old Chicago franchisee, it was important to me to align myself with a brand that delivers a seamless customer experience, and I learned very quickly that Old Chicago does just that," said Samy. "Old Chicago not only takes care of its customers, but also provides franchisees with a network of support to help our businesses achieve success. The company's aggressive expansion efforts are a true testament to the strength of Old Chicago's business model, which is supported by nearly two decades of franchise experience. I look forward to growing with this industry leader for many years to come and urge aspiring entrepreneurs to take advantage of this exciting business opportunity."

This year, Old Chicago has plans to develop nearly a dozen new restaurants as part of its aggressive growth strategy to bring its handcrafted pizza, taproom classics and expansive selection of regional and local craft beers to more cities across the country.

The brand is targeting growth in markets such as Dallas, Ft. Worth, Tyler and Waco, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Fayetteville, North Carolina and Independence, Missouri, among others. In addition to a focus on expansion, Old Chicago is set to roll out a handful of new initiatives this year such as system-wide online ordering, new beverage offerings and the CiceroneTM certified training program to further enhance the guest experience. The company has already launched its new restaurant prototype "" a 5,000 square feet build with an additional 1,000 "" 1,200 square feet of outdoor patio space. The new structure and design have been well received by consumers and will be rolled out system-wide.

A leader in the traditional casual dining space, Old Chicago has been serving handcrafted food and local craft beers in Colorado and in cities across the nation for nearly 40 years. Old Chicago is dedicated to providing quality food creations and to showcasing craft brewers, while providing great value in a welcoming atmosphere. To learn more about Old Chicago, visit www.oldchicago.com.

About Old Chicago

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom (Old Chicago) is a traditional, casual dining restaurant specializing in Chicago-style pizzas, taproom classics and craft beer. Founded in 1976, Old Chicago operates in 22 states with more than 100 restaurants. With over 30 craft beers on tap, Old Chicago is also the home of the World Beer Tour, which rewards members for enjoying 110 of the best craft beers from across the globe. Visit www.oldchicago.com to learn more and to find the restaurant nearest you. For information about franchise opportunities, visit www.ocfranchising.com.

About CraftWorks

CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. is the largest craft brewery restaurant operator in the country with nearly 200 franchised and company-owned restaurants primarily operating under the Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants and Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries brands. As a leader in the craft beer focused casual dining segment, CraftWorks also operates strong regional brands, and employs more than 12,000 people throughout the U.S. All of CraftWorks" restaurant brands have innovative menus with made-from-scratch food and a vast selection of unique craft beer, as well as unbeatable service and loyalty programs with over a half-million active members. Based in Broomfield, Colo., CraftWorks is not only committed to serving its loyal guests, but also the communities in which its restaurants operate. The CraftWorks Foundation has contributed millions of dollars, positively impacting communities throughout the country.

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8001 Arista Pl., #500
Broomfield, CO

Phone: (303) 664-4000

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