Moe's Southwest Grill Energizes Franchise Growth Following Recent Acquisition

FOCUS Brands' Advanced Resources Set Stage for 75 New Restaurants

February 05, 2008 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA, Ga. – Moe's Southwest Grill, a 2007 Top Ten Growth Chain according to Restaurant Hospitality and Technomic, is prepared for vigorous franchise growth following its recent acquisition by FOCUS Brands,® Inc with the same flavor and energy found in its more than 370 fast-casual restaurants.

Propelled by the resources and expertise of its new franchisor and operator, FOCUS Brands, Inc., which operates more than 2,100 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes worldwide, Moe's Southwest Grill is well poised to reach its impressive goal of signing 100 new franchise agreements and opening 75 restaurants by the end of 2008.

"Moe's growth will be backed by more resources than ever before," said Steve Romaniello, President and CEO of FOCUS Brands. "In addition to the newly built Moe's R&D kitchen, we have added resources in real estate, purchasing, international and licensing. We've got something special with Moe's and we intend to share it with as many people as possible."

Company executives say recent brand initiatives, including the introduction of meal combo deals and a new menu board, have further strengthened Moe's marketplace potential. Other Moe's successes in 2007 included the opening of the first international unit in Canada and launching the concept's first ever limited time offer.

"The Moe's concept lives in a segment – fast-casual Mexican – that is experiencing exponential growth," said D'Wayne Tanner, Vice President of Franchise Sales for Moe's Southwest Grill. "The momentum we've built over the past year has generated record interest in our concept among prospective franchisees. While the market is competitive, the strength of the brand, coupled with the core competencies of FOCUS Brands, positions Moe's with what it takes to dominate the multi-billion dollar fast-casual dining segment."

Ranked #9 on Fast Casual magazine's 2008 Top 100 Movers & Shakers list, Moe's enjoys a solid presence in 36 states and is best known for its "Welcome to Moe's" greeting, vibrant décor and fresh made-to-order southwest fare including the uniquely named Homewrecker burrito, Closetalker salad and John Coctostan quesadilla.

Each Moe's location is approximately 2,500 square feet, employs an average of 25 staff members, and seats approximately 80 guests. Operating hours vary by location.

About Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is the neighborhood burrito place offering flavorful Southwestern fare with a healthy twist. With over 360 locations across the country, Moe's Southwest Grill serves only the freshest ingredients prepared right before your eyes, including the Homewrecker burrito, the Billy Barou nachos, and the Closetalker salad, in a fun and welcoming atmosphere. Founded in 2000, Atlanta-based Moe's Southwest Grill is ranked the #1 fast-casual chain based on change in system-wide sales according to QSR Magazine and the #2 fast-casual chain under 300 units in 2006. For more information, visit www.moes.com. For franchise inquiries, contact D'Wayne Tanner at dtanner@focusbrands.com (615) 776-1685.


About FOCUS Brands Inc. ®
FOCUS Brands Inc. is the franchisor and operator of over 2,100 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 32 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky's®, Moe's Southwest Grill®, and the franchisor of Seattle's Best Coffee® on military bases and in certain international markets. Based in Atlanta, the primary objective of FOCUS Brands is to "FOCUS on making people happy." Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

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