Smashburger Enters Chicago Market with 11-Store Deal

Franchise Agreement Brings Better Burgers to Northeast Cook County Area

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Smashburger, a fast-casual, "better burger" restaurant concept launched and funded with $15 million from private equity and concept development firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), has signed an agreement with Chicago caterer Food for Thought Enterprises, through their development arm, Smash Illinois LLC, to operate 11 restaurants in the Chicago area.

Known for the cooking method used to create the perfect burger, Smashburgers are either a one-third or half-pound ball of 100 percent Angus beef smashed on a flat grill to sear in delicious juicy flavor. To further the "better burger" experience, Smashburgers are served on butter-toasted artisan buns and topped with a selection of real cheeses, the freshest produce and top-quality condiments.

"Brian Rosen, president of Food for Thought and Smash Illinois LLC, and his team are ideal partners for us as we enter the Chicago market," said Dave Prokupek, Smashburger chairman and managing partner of CCP. "As president and operator of the popular Food for Thought cafés throughout the area, Brian has exactly the kind of know-how and track record to make Smashburger everyone's favorite burger place in Chicago."

The Smash Illinois agreement adds another state to Smashburger's national footprint and brings the number of franchise locations to more than 200. With a combination of corporate, franchise and joint venture partnerships, Smashburger has created a strategy that allows the Denver-based company to grow quickly without affecting its core consumer promise of a better-burger value that maximizes guests' time and dining experience.

"Chicago is a burger-loving town, and we know the Smashburger concept is going to be a huge success here," Rosen predicts. "The Smashburger team has an impressive track record of opening and operating successful restaurants. Combine that with an amazing product, and it's the kind of business I want to be a part of."

About Smashburger

Denver, Colorado-based Smashburger is a fast-casual restaurant designed to be every city's favorite burger place. Developed and owned by private equity and concept-development firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), Smashburger develops both company and joint-venture partner stores. The company has sold franchise agreements that will total more than 200 locations over the next five years. The company, joint venture and franchise development deals are part of Smashburger's plan to open 500 plus restaurants across the country, 30 to 60 in 2009. Smashburger was named a 2009 Hot Concepts! award winner by Nation's Restaurant News.

About Consumer Capital Partners

Denver-based Consumer Capital Partners (CCP) is an innovative private investment and concept development firm focused on multi-unit retail businesses, primarily in the restaurant, liquor, food, and leisure industries. CCP has deep experience in the fields of private equity, brand, concept and product development, and strategic consulting.

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