Nation's Restaurant News Names The Counter(R) One Of 2008's Six Hottest Concepts!

August 25, 2008 // Franchising.com // (Culver City, CA)---The Counter®, the premium burger concept known for its amazing number of possible combinations, has just been named one of six hot concepts for 2008 by Nation's Restaurant News. According to NRN's website, the editors select the six emerging restaurant brands each year that have distinguished themselves as Hot Concepts!, the fast-growing, financially-proven overachievers that are on their way to becoming tomorrow's giants.

"To be among the chosen few honored by such a revered trade publication as NRN is a thrill to say the least," said Jeff Weinstein, founder and CEO of The Counter. "I have considered The Counter a hot concept from Day One but it's always wonderful to hear it from the authority on the topic; it's why we do what we do. But this could not be possible without the day to day contributions by all The Counter employees who work tirelessly to improve upon our products, experience and the brand."

For more than a decade, the editors of Nation's Restaurant News have selected innovative restaurant brands that have distinguished themselves as "hot." These organizations were recognized for their innovation, successful business strategies and entrepreneurial spirit long before most industry observers had taken notice. The Counter is no exception: the restaurant chain is the 21st-century equivalent to the classic burger joint, offering a fresh, unconventional approach to the American tradition of creating the ultimate premium burger with its inviting industrial décor and outstanding food in a laid-back atmosphere. The Counter customers can choose from its standard selection of six signature burgers but 80 percent of customers choose to "Build Your Own Burger" and get creative with the hundreds of thousands of possible variations that The Counter offers them. The Counter's burgers are made from certified humanely-raised and handled, 100-percent natural, freshly ground Angus beef, grilled chicken, ground turkey, house-made veggie and specialty seafood. Customers are given a clipboard from which to make their selections of 10 cheeses, 28 toppings, 18 unique from scratch sauces and three types of buns. These choices net out to over 312,120 possible burger combinations.

Since opening its first restaurant in Santa Monica in 2003 and launching its franchise program in 2006, The Counter has opened 11 locations and has sold development rights for over 130 restaurants. Projections call for 25 new locations in both 2008 and 2009 – a number that is expected to increase annually as the concept matures. Long-range projections call for as many as 400 to 600 U.S. locations.

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