BOSTON - Feb. 29, 2016 // GLOBE NEWSWIRE // - Così, Inc. (NASDAQ:COSI), the fast casual restaurant company, today announced that it has entered into a new Master Development and Franchise Agreement with Fast Casual Panamá S. de RL to develop five (5) franchised Così® restaurants in the Republic of Panamá. The first restaurant under this agreement is expected to open in the 2016 fourth quarter. The principals of Fast Casual Panamá S. de RL also own Fast Casual Ltda. which owns and operates six (6) franchised Così® restaurants in Costa Rica.
"We are proud to have Fast Casual Ltda., our franchise partner in Costa Rica, now developing into the Republic of Panamá,” said RJ Dourney, Cosi’s President and CEO. “They have been outstanding business partners since 2012, and together we see this as further establishing the foundation for Cosi to penetrate Central America and beyond in the years to come. Additionally, this is an important milestone in the execution of this year’s operating strategy,” Dourney went on to say.
“We are very pleased with the success of Cosi® in Costa Rica and excited to bring Cosi® to Republic of Panamá,” said Luis Diego Escalante, a principal of both Fast Casual Panamá S. de RL and Fast Casual Ltda. “This is the second phase of our expansion plans. My partners and I look forward to exploring further growth opportunities for the Cosi® brand across multiple markets,” Escalante stated.
Dourney then addressed Cosi’s operating strategy for 2016, stating, “We made requisite adjustments to our operating strategy in the latter half of 2015 and made the right choices, which allowed us to enter 2016 with the strong momentum we are seeing. Our operating strategy is fully focused on the four cornerstones that will lead us through the foundational change needed to steadily set the stage for growth. First, we will continue to drive traffic into our restaurants via both brand initiatives and operating focus. Second, we will continue to manage our cash burn and shift to cash generation. Third, we will continue seeding the growth of our franchise system, and finally, we will continue strengthening our talent base and culture,” said Dourney.
Così (http://www.getcosi.com) is an international fast casual restaurant company. At the heart of every Cosi® restaurant is an open-flame stone-hearth oven where the Così® signature flatbread is made from scratch throughout the day. The flatbread is made from a generations-old recipe and is part of many Così® favorites. Così® was founded on the idea that good-for-you food should be delicious. Menu items are made using fresh ingredients and distinctive sauces and spreads to create edgy flavors. The menu features made-to-order sandwiches, hand-tossed salads, bowls, breakfast wraps, melts, all natural soups, signature Squagels®, artisan flatbread pizzas, S`mores, snacks and desserts. Guests can also enjoy handcrafted beverages and a variety of coffee-based and specialty beverages.
Così® employees create a welcoming environment where guests are invited to relax and enjoy great food. In many cases, Così® is the cornerstone of the communities that they are in and take pride in supporting community organizations and local charities. There are currently 76 Company-owned and 31 franchise restaurants operating in fifteen states, the District of Columbia, Costa Rica and theUnited Arab Emirates.
"Così," "(Sun & Moon Design)" and related marks are registered trademarks of Così, Inc. in the U.S.A. and certain other countries. Copyright © 2016 Così, 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 results being reported in this release are unaudited and subject to change; 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 Così's website at http://www.getcosi.com in the investor relations section.
Chief Financial Officer