Cosi Signs New Franchisee for Costa Rica

DEERFIELD, IL, Apr 05, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --Cosi, Inc. (NASDAQ: COSI), the fast casual restaurant company, today announced that it has entered into a development agreement with a new franchisee, Fast Casual S. A., to develop Cosi(R) restaurants in Costa Rica. The agreement calls for Fast Casual S.A. to develop five locations over five years beginning with their first location expected to open later this year.

"We are excited to be growing the Cosi(R) brand again with our new franchise partners, Fast Casual S.A.," said Carin Stutz, Cosi President and Chief Executive Officer. "I look forward to working with Luis Diego Escalante, Maria Cristina Escalante and their partners to successfully launch Cosi(R) in Costa Rica."

"Costa Rica is a leader in the trend towards healthy eating and we believe the Cosi(R) brand fits well in this category," stated Luis Diego Escalante, Principal at Fast Casual S.A. "I am thrilled to be able to introduce an authentic brand like Cosi(R) to the Costa Rican community where they can experience the unique freshly baked signature flatbread along with the rest of the innovative menu offerings available."

About Cosi, Inc.

Cosi(R) (http://www.getcosi.com) is a national fast casual restaurant chain that has developed featured foods built around a secret, generations-old recipe for crackly crust flatbread. This artisan bread is freshly baked in front of customers throughout the day in open-flame stone-hearth ovens prominently located in each of the restaurants. Cosi's warm and urbane atmosphere is geared towards its sophisticated, upscale, urban and suburban guests. There are currently 80 Company-owned and 56 franchise restaurants operating in seventeen states, the District of Columbia and the United Arab Emirates. The Cosi(R) vision is to become America's favorite fast casual restaurant by providing customers authentic, innovative, savory food while remaining an affordable luxury.

The Cosi(R) menu features Cosi(R) sandwiches, freshly-tossed salads, breakfast wraps, melts, soups, Cosi(R) Squagels(R), flatbread pizzas, S'mores, snacks and other desserts, and a wide range of coffee and coffee-based drinks and other specialty beverages. Cosi(R) restaurants are designed to be welcoming and comfortable with an eclectic environment. Cosi's sights, sounds, and spaces create a tasteful, relaxed ambience that provides a fresh and new dining experience.

"Cosi," "(Sun & Moon Design)" and related marks are registered trademarks of Cosi, Inc. in the U.S.A. and certain other countries. Copyright Copyright 2012 Cosi, Inc. All rights reserved.

"SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995. This press release contains statements that constitute forward- looking statements under the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements about future events and expectations and not statements of historical fact. The words "believe," "may," "will," "should," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "objective," "seek," "plan," "strive," or similar words, or negatives of these words, identify forward- looking statements. We qualify any forward-looking statements entirely by these cautionary factors. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future economic performance, taking into account the information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or financial condition to differ materially from the expectations of future results, performance or financial condition we express or imply in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to: the cost of our principal food products and supply and delivery shortages and interruptions; labor shortages or increased labor costs; changes in demographic trends and consumer tastes and preferences, including changes resulting from concerns over nutritional or safety aspects of beef, poultry, produce, or other foods or the effects of food-borne illnesses, such as E. coli, "mad cow disease" and avian influenza or "bird flu"; competition in our markets, both in our business and in locating suitable restaurant sites; our operation and execution in new and existing markets; expansion into new markets including foreign markets; our ability to attract and retain qualified franchisees and our franchisees' ability to open restaurants on a timely basis; our ability to locate suitable restaurant sites in new and existing markets and negotiate acceptable lease terms; the rate of our internal growth and our ability to generate increased revenue from our existing restaurants; our ability to generate positive cash flow from existing and new restaurants; fluctuations in our quarterly results due to seasonality; increased government regulation and our ability to secure required government approvals and permits; our ability to create customer awareness of our restaurants in new markets; the reliability of our customer and market studies; cost effective and timely planning, design and build out of restaurants; our ability to recruit, train and retain qualified corporate and restaurant personnel and management; market saturation due to new restaurant openings; inadequate protection of our intellectual property; our ability to obtain additional capital and financing; adverse weather conditions which impact customer traffic at our restaurants; and adverse economic conditions. Further information regarding factors that could affect our results and the statements made herein are included in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Additional information is available on Cosi's website at http://www.getcosi.com in the investor relations section.

Contact:

William E. Koziel
Chief Financial Officer
(847) 597-8803

SOURCE: Cosi, Inc.

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