Baker Bros(R) Concept And Diversity Still Prosper In Down Economy

Sophisticated Restaurant Franchise Positioned 'Close-to-Casual,' Touts Proven Model With Double-Digit Sales Growth

September 30, 2008 // Franchising.com // Dallas, TX – Even in the toughest of economies, these Baker Bros prove they can still serve it up hot and fresh. Baker Bros, a 16-unit casual neighborhood-style American deli franchise based in Dallas since 1999, is at the forefront of the hot fast-casual segment, surpassing the fast-casual industry average for sales growth. Over the past four-year period, Baker Bros has experienced tremendous growth and success, seeing its company store sales increase by 36 percent despite an economy that would suggest otherwise.

Baker Bros enjoys success, in part, by promoting a business model where equipment costs are less than the national fast-casual average, continually maintaining profit margins, and incorporating an efficiency model that allows for the flexibility to deal with any economic climate. Baker Bros has proven that their "dough" can rise even in a recession.

Restaurant industry veterans Ken Reimer and Tom Dahl, who both helped guide Tony Roma's to incredible success, founded Baker Bros under the motto, "Visit us often. Enjoy yourself always.'" With this motto in mind, these expert restaurateurs, who have more than 60 years of restaurant industry expertise between them, launched the Baker Bros concept with the idea of bringing the authentic taste of the heartland to neighborhoods across the country.

"Baker Bros' customers and franchise partners absolutely love what we do," said Ken Reimer, Chairman and CEO of Baker Bros. "Our restaurants are at the high-end of fast-casual, and reach as close to a casual dining experience that a concept can attain without having a bar, table service, and a high-price check. The amount of sophistication surrounding this concept is truly impressive, which we attribute to maintaining the quality of our product, consistency of service, and competitive prices well below the casual dining industry average."

The look and feel after walking into a Baker Bros restaurant is one of transcendence. Warm, dark wooden tables and booths invite customers to sit down and relax for how ever long they please. Exposed ceilings, warehouse lighting, a story-telling mural on the wall, solid concrete counter tops, fabric-backed booths and soft jazz music makes for an experience people want to enjoy over and over.

However, it's the Baker Bros delectable, diverse menu and incredible value that sets that apart from all others in the fast-casual world. Baker Bros insists on serving the tastiest breads, the freshest produce, and premium quality meats and cheeses to create their signature sandwiches, award-winning salads (named Best Big Salad in Dallas), soups, stuffed baked potatoes, and gourmet pizzas. Every order is prepared fresh, and free from grills and fryers, promoting a healthy lifestyle. Customers have the flexibility and satisfaction of creating their very own menu item with a twist as everything is prepared to order.

With 16 restaurants currently open in Texas, Arkansas, and South Carolina, and additional locations in development, Baker Bros is a place where many people go for flavorful, fresh-tasting food offered in hearty portions at a reasonable price. Baker Bros projects to have 25 locations open by the end of 2009 and 45 deals signed within the same time period.

"As we continue our expansion efforts, this is a particularly exciting time to work with a proven franchisor and enhance the Baker Bros network," said Tom Dahl, President and COO. "We've designed the most flexible operational system that sets Baker Bros apart from other fast-casual concepts to work in an efficient, sophisticated way, and with the simplicity of operation and notable return on investment for franchisees."

Baker Bros is seeking multi-unit franchisees planning to open at least three locations with a strong desire to continue to grow a proven concept within the food franchise business. Prospective franchise owners should have knowledge of the local marketplace, a keen understanding and background in restaurant operations, and a hands-on attitude. With a franchise fee of $25,000, the investment to own and operate a Baker Bros restaurant is typically $430,500 to $656,000.

About Baker Bros

Founded in1999 by restaurant veterans Ken Reimer and Tom Dahl, who guided Tony Roma's to success, Baker Bros is a fast-casual neighborhood-style American deli franchise that comes "close-to-casual" and serves the tastiest breads, freshest produce, and premium quality meats and cheeses to create their signature sandwiches, award-winning salads, soups, stuffed baked potatoes, and gourmet pizzas. Currently operating 16 locations throughout the nation, Baker Bros has plans underway to open additional locations in the near future. Baker Bros is franchised through an Area Development Agreement that generally requires a three to five store commitment for individual franchisees. For more information, please visit www.bakerbrosdeli.com.

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