Zero's Subs Continues Western Growth With Unique "MicroStore(TM)" Concept

MicroStore(TM) Can Reduce Costs and Increase Traffic, Profits

Glendale, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AHC/Zero's Subs continues to buck the declining economy with their unique "MicroStore™" concept, opening four new stores in California by the end of the first quarter, with a fifth under contract. Furthermore, the West Coast franchisor will continue aggressive expansion in 2009, with five more locations in the works.

AHC/Zero's Subs is excited to announce that their newest location will open inside an existing liquor store on Coronado Island in mid-December. This location, a "MicroStore," will be the second Zero's Subs of its kind. The first Zero's Subs "MicroStore" opened last fall in a gas station convenience store on Route 395 in Olancha, a heavily-traveled road between Mammoth Lakes and Death Valley, CA.

Zero's Subs "MicroStore™" is an original concept that was piloted in just under 300 square feet inside a gas station. Due to its phenomenal success, Zero's Subs is expanding the concept across the West, beginning with Coronado Island. The opening of the Montebello and Anaheim stores will follow in January. Zeros' Subs franchises, including several multi-unit sales, are under contract in Koreatown, Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Vermont/Silverlake, and Pasadena/Glendale.

At Zero's Subs "MicroStore™" locations, franchisees can replace unhealthy and unprofitable "static food" with healthy, made-to-order subs, pizzas and wings—all within minimal existing square footage. By using equipment on hand, owners of businesses such as gas stations, liquor stores, truck stops and convenience stores can generate more income per square foot with minimal time and financial investments.

"Our 'MicroStores™' use existing or off-the-shelf equipment, and require no exterior structural changes such as a kitchen hood," said Tracy Taft, Zero's Subs Director of Operations. "For a nominal outlay, existing store owners can parlay our nationally recognized brand into increased clientele and invigorated sales," said Taft. "We've seen Zero's Subs triple ancillary item profits."

The "MicroStore™" concept is what attracted Nathan Hiedo, owner of Avenue Liquor on Coronado Island, to open a Zero's Subs inside his store. "My customers will benefit from Zero's Subs fresh and healthy food, and I can capitalize by adding on sales of beverages, chips, snacks and other items," said Hiedo. As a long-time small business owner, Hiedo always looks for ways to increase traffic, and says the addition of Zero's Subs to his store will definitely help him "get new customers in the door."

AHC/Zero's Subs Chairman Elizabeth Fitzpatrick knows why her company is growing domestically while others are constricting in a tight economy. "Zeros' Subs franchisees get to be their own 'boss'; we allow them to design, build and run their business as it fits into their existing operations," she said. "Everyone claims to be flexible and franchisee-friendly. Zero's Subs actually is."

About Ahc/Zero's Subs

AHC/Zero's Subs, Inc., owns the Zero's Subs territory on the west coast and is headquartered in Glendale, California. Zero's Subs is a quick service restaurant featuring "Hot Oven-Baked" sandwiches, pizza, wings, salads and more. AHC/Zero's Subs is currently implementing an aggressive growth plan in California, Arizona and Florida.

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