Romano's Macaroni Grill to Open Second Hawaii Location

Restaurant at Queens' MarketPlace on the Big Island Slated to Open November 2008

HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Romano's Macaroni Grill today announced that it is expanding operations to the Big Island of Hawaii where its second Island location will open in November at Queens' MarketPlace at Waikoloa Beach Resort. Randy Schoch, Hawaii franchisee for Romano's Macaroni Grill, opened the first restaurant in Honolulu at Ala Moana Center's Ho'okipa Terrace in 2005.

Romano's Macaroni Grill has proven itself a perfect fit for island residents and tourists alike. Since opening two years ago, the Ala Moana location has led the system in sales, topping more than 220 locations across the U.S. and abroad. The Honolulu location has also received a number of awards including "Best New Restaurant-People's Choice" in the Honolulu Advertiser's Ilima Awards for 2006 and from HONOLULU Magazine, "Best New Restaurant" Gold Award (2007).

Sales for the Waikoloa Beach Resort location are anticipated to remain at the top of the category among all Romano's locations. "Both locals and visitors continue to demand greater variety in dining options," said Schoch. "We're extremely fortunate that our restaurants have been embraced by the community, and are very excited to be opening our newest Macaroni Grill at Queens' MarketPlace."

Schoch serves as the CEO of Scottsdale-based Desert Islands Restaurants, a management entity which oversees operations of the five franchised Ruth's Chris Steak Houses and now two Romano's Macaroni Grill restaurants in Hawaii. The company employs 450 throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and is expected to add an additional 100 jobs with the opening of the new Romano's Macaroni Grill at Waikoloa Beach Resort.

The new restaurant at Queens' MarketPlace will offer the same family-priced, Tuscan-inspired cuisine that has made the chain successful worldwide. It will showcase an open exhibition-style kitchen where chefs prepare an extensive, flavorful array of entrees, classic Italian pasta dishes, grilled specialties, pizzas, seafood, salads and seasonal features.

"We are delighted to welcome Romano's Macaroni Grill to Queens' MarketPlace. It is an ideal Italian family restaurant which has proven to be a favorite for both locals and visitors alike at Ala Moana Center, and will definitely be a great success at Waikoloa Beach Resort," said Waikoloa Land Company President Thos Rohr.

About Romano's Macaroni Grill

Romano's Macaroni Grill is a leading casual Italian restaurant with more than 220 locations worldwide. Working in open kitchens, Macaroni Grill chefs prepare Italian classics like Chicken Scaloppine and signature items such as Penne Rustica, as well as grilled specialties, fresh seafood, crisp salads, brick oven pizzas and numerous pasta dishes. The menu is complemented by one of the most extensive wine lists in casual dining and a silver dessert tray that is ideal for end-of-meal enjoyment or with after-dinner coffee. Romano's Macaroni Grill is the second-largest brand in the Brinker International (NYSE: EAT) restaurant portfolio. Other Brinker restaurant brands include Chili's Grill & Bar, Maggiano's Little Italy and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina.

About Randy Schoch

Randy Schoch is a recognized restaurateur with a long track record of operating popular eateries from Denver to Honolulu. In 1998, he founded Desert Island Restaurants. He currently serves as the company's Chief Executive Officer and oversees two Romano's Macaroni Grill restaurants (one in development at the new Queens' MarketPlace at Waikoloa) and five Ruth's Chris Steak Houses across the Hawaiian Islands, plus one Thaifoon Taste of Asia restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah. Schoch also created the Ling & Louie's Asian Bar and Grill concept with restaurants in Denver and Scottsdale, with plans to franchise and expand nationwide. Prior to founding Desert Island Restaurants, Schoch opened the first Roy's Pacific Rim Cuisine in Scottsdale in 1998 followed by additional locations in Newport Beach in 1999 and Phoenix in 2000. Earlier in his career, he was the owner of The Black Orchid in Honolulu's Restaurant Row from 1988 to 1992 and Nick's Fishmarket in Waikiki from 1985 to 1995.

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