DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - July 16, 2009) - Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. (OTCBB: SPKL), fast casual restaurant operator serving all natural premium meat and poultry and other fresh products and franchisor under its Spicy Pickle and Bread Garden Urban Café brands, today updated its outlook for 2009.
Spicy Pickle CEO Marc Geman noted that "Like most restaurant chains and retail in general, the last quarter of 2008 and the first half of this year were difficult times due to the downturn in consumer spending. Our reaction to the reduced spending and increasing unemployment was to reduce our overhead to prepare for a slower anticipated growth rate. We refocused on unit economics based on changing customer habits. In the beginning of the fourth quarter 2008, we completed the purchase of our Bread Garden Urban Café chain in British Columbia believing that its growth rate would in the short to medium term outpace US opportunities. That has been the case."
As to company operations and those of its franchisees, Mr. Geman noted that in late May 2009 a franchisee in Houston, Texas opened their first restaurant; and another franchisee has completed construction and will open a restaurant in Naperville, Illinois late July 2009. The Houston restaurant is part of a ten unit development and the franchisee expects to open a second restaurant by the end of this year. The Naperville restaurant is part of a five unit development package. Additional restaurants are anticipated to open in 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada that is a second in a four unit franchisee development package; in Temecula, California for a new franchisee who is also looking to open another unit; in Chicago as a second restaurant in a five unit development package; and in San Diego where the franchisee has now moved forward with a second location and is looking at a third site. The company has also been negotiating for a location in the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, home of the Colorado Avalanche NHL hockey team and the Denver Nuggets NBA basketball team. A Spicy Pickle franchisee closed two units in Michigan, he added.
Mr. Geman continued, "The Bread Garden Urban Cafés continued to open new restaurants and new locations are under negotiation. At this date, there are 13 Bread Garden Urban Cafés operating in British Columbia. Two are airport locations, one in Kamloops, BC and the other in the newly opened C Terminal serving Air Canada at the Vancouver Airport which opened in early July 2009. Build-outs for three additional locations are underway in downtown Vancouver and another at Whistler Mountain. Several additional locations are under negotiation."
Mr. Geman noted, "The continued expansion of our Bread Garden Urban Cafés throughout greater Vancouver and up to Whistler Mountain, out to Kamloops and other British Columbia locations under negotiation, have exceeded our growth expectations and should result in significant additional revenue for The Company as we approach the end of this year. Our reduced overhead along with the anticipated Spicy Pickle and Bread Garden Urban Café restaurant openings in the remainder of 2009 puts us in a much better position to continue to weather the economic storm. In addition, we expect to be prepared with new menu and restaurant features to address a more cautious and discriminating consumer which we believe will be the customer of the future. We expect to have at least 42 Spicy Pickle restaurants and 17 Bread Garden Urban Cafés opened by year end."
Founded in 1999, Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. (OTCBB: SPKL) serves high quality meats and fine artisan breads, baked fresh daily, along with a wide choice of eight different cheeses, twenty-two different toppings, and fourteen proprietary spreads to create healthy and delicious panini and sub sandwiches with flavors from around the world. As a leading "fast-casual" concept, Spicy Pickle offers menu items that are far beyond traditional fast food but without the price point of casual dining. The hallmark of a Spicy Pickle restaurant is quality, service and an enjoyable atmosphere. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with restaurants open across 11 states and more in development nationwide. Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc. also operates as franchisor for Bread Garden Urban Cafés, a concept with restaurants in the metropolitan Vancouver, Canada area. Bread Garden Urban Cafés serve coffee, pastries and breakfast items as well as lunch and dinner along with a wide variety of desserts.
Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the number of restaurants we intend to open, are forward-looking statements. We use words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "should," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "predict," "project," "target," and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions, to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date any such statements are made and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: factors that could affect our ability to achieve and manage our planned expansion, such as the availability of a sufficient number of suitable new restaurant sites and the availability of qualified franchisees and employees; risks relating to our expansion into new markets; the risk of food-borne illnesses and other health concerns about our food products; changes in the availability and costs of food; changes in consumer preferences, general economic conditions or consumer discretionary spending; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to our franchisees and employees, and the sale of food or alcoholic beverages; the impact of litigation; our ability to protect our name and logo and other proprietary information; the potential effects of inclement weather; the effect of competition in the restaurant industry; and other risk factors described from time to time in our SEC reports.