Smashburger Inks Deal with Franchisee in Iowa

Franchise agreement to bring 16 Smashburger restaurants to Central Iowa burger loversSmashburger, 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 secured its eighth franchisee, Smashguys LLC. The latest agreement brings the total number of Smashburger franchise locations to 167. 

DENVER – May 4, 2009 –

The Smashguys agreement means Smashburger will add another state to its aggressive national expansion plans. 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 sacrificing quality or the guest experience.

“Smashguys is a veteran franchisee with extensive restaurant and food service experience, and the agreement allows us to build even stronger market share in the Midwest,” said Scott Crane, president of Smashburger. “Being from the Midwest, I know Midwesterners love their burgers. Smashburger is a proven concept and well on its way to becoming the region’s favorite burger place. Smashguys shares our vision, and we’re thrilled to have them on board.”

The 16 locations from the Smashguys agreement complement Smashburgers’ corporate and franchise expansion plans to open several hundred restaurants over the next several years. Smashguys has scouted numerous locations in Central Iowa, including Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, and plans to open its first restaurant by the end of 2009. The remaining restaurants will open across the region over the next four years.

“We’ve been in the restaurant business for more than three decades, and we, like Smashburger, noticed a consumer demand for a better burger,” said Gayle Carstens, president of Smashguys. “Smashburger brings a fresh approach to the burger category, and they have a franchise business model that matches what we’re trying to do. We believe in the concept and are excited to help Smashburger grow and bring the best $5 burger to consumers in Iowa.”

Smashguys is the same company that has brought wildly popular HuHot restaurants to Iowans. The success of HuHot is testament to Smashguys focus and acumen that is sure to positively impact Smashburger’s expansion into the Iowa market. The franchisee also owns four additional fast-casual restaurant concepts.

“Our relationships with our franchise operators are critically important to Smashburger’s growth and overall success. To have such strong franchisees sign with us demonstrates the strength of our concept and our team,” said Dave Prokupek, chairman of the board of Smashburger and managing partner and chief investment officer of CCP.

Named for the cooking method used to create the perfect burger, Smashburgers are either a one-third or half-pound ball of beef smashed on a flat grill to sear in superior juicy flavor. To further the “better burger” experience, Smashburgers are served on a toasted artisan bun and topped with a selection of real cheeses, the freshest produce and top-quality condiments. Tasty sides like Smashfries and Veggie Frites, Smashchicken sandwiches, Smashdogs, Smash salads, Haagen Dazs shakes and malts, and beer and wine round out the Smashburger menu.

About Smashburger
Headquartered in Denver, Colo., Smashburger is an innovative fast-casual restaurant concept featuring “the best burgers you ever tasted.” Developed and owned by private equity and concept development firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), Smashburger has sold significant franchise agreements that assure 200-plus locations over the next five years. The franchise deals are part of Smashburger’s national expansion plans to open 500 restaurants across the country, with 30-60 of those scheduled for 2009. If you crave a better burger, keep watching for Smashburger – coming to your community soon. To learn more about building a better burger, please visit www.mysmashburger.com.

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. To learn more about CCP, please visit www.consumercp.com.