December 21, 2007 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, MN, - Famous Dave's of America, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAVE) today announced that it has retained a national search firm to begin a search for a new CEO. As previously indicated, and as part of a prior succession plan, board member Lane Cardwell is currently serving as interim and acting CEO. Chairman Jeff Dahlberg said, "While we are anxious to identify a new leader soon, we are following a very thoughtful and deliberate selection process, and believe that the most important thing is to select the right leader for the future success of this brand. During this time, the company continues to be in a strong operational and leadership position with Lane serving in his current role along with the support of the current management team, and we don't expect operations to experience any significant disruption during this transition."
Acting CEO, Lane Cardwell said, "The outlook for the Company, as conveyed during their third quarter conference call remains intact. Eleven new Famous Dave's restaurants opened during the fourth quarter, and two were closed, and we will end the year with a total of 164 restaurants, including 44 company-owned restaurants and 120 franchise-operated restaurants. We expect to open 25-30 restaurants in fiscal 2008, including up to 6 company-owned restaurants." Cardwell continued, "There's concern in the casual dining segment right now regarding rising commodity costs. As a reminder, we enter into long term contracts, typically one year. While we will see an increase of approximately 1% on our largest contract, pork, beginning in January, we believe that a price increase of approximately 2%, taken at the beginning of December, will be sufficient to mitigate margin pressures. We will however, re-look at price during our menu change in June."
The Company also indicated that it has repurchased approximately 500,000 shares on its recent million share authorization. Jeff Dahlberg concluded, "The Company has taken many major steps in the past few years toward accomplishing its mission of being the segment defining brand in the barbeque segment. This is an important time to further leverage our talent pool by adding a CEO who has the demonstrated ability to build on the established foundation and maximize the value of the Famous Dave's Brand."
Famous Dave's of America, Inc. develops, owns, operates and franchises barbeque restaurants. The company currently owns 44 locations and franchises 120 additional units in 35 states. Its menu features award-winning barbequed and grilled meats, an ample selection of salads, side items, sandwiches and unique desserts. Contact information: Diana G. Purcel (952) 294-1300, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical, including but not limited to statements regarding the share repurchase plan, cash flow, the timing of our restaurant openings, and the timing or success of our expansion plans, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, which may cause the company's actual results to differ materially from expected results. Although Famous Dave's of America, Inc. believes the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectation will be attained. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Famous Dave's expectation include financial performance, restaurant industry conditions, execution of restaurant development and construction programs, franchisee performance, changes in local or national economic conditions, availability of financing, governmental approvals and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports.