Smashburger Receives 2012 Inc. Hire Power Award

Denver, Colorado, December 4, 2012 — Smashburger, the rapidly expanding better burger restaurant, today announced it has ranked 9th on the inaugural  ranking of Inc.’s Hire Power Awards, recognizing the private businesses that have generated the most jobs in the past three years. Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Inc. Hire Power Awards celebrate private companies on the forefront of American job creation.

Smashburger is the country’s fastest growing fast casual restaurant concept which has built its reputation on fresh, made-to-order, 100 percent Certified Angus Beef burgers that are “smashed” and seared to lock in juicy flavor. Over the past three years, the company has created 995 jobs and today has 186 restaurant locations globally, with locations in 28 markets in the United States, as well as international locations in Canada, Costa Rica and Kuwait.    By the end of 2012 the company will have nearly 200 restaurant locations around the globe.   In 2013, Smashburger plans to open 70 to 80 new restaurants and will hire more than 225 employees to support brand growth both at the corporate level and at company-owned restaurants in key domestic and international markets. Smashburger’s franchise partners will collectively add several hundred additional jobs.

“We are honored to be recognized with Inc.’s Hire Power Award and for our role in creating jobs in the restaurant industry,” commented Dave Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger. “With our focus on expansion, there are many exciting opportunities with our company. And no matter how fast and big we grow, we know at the heart of our great food is our employees. It’s their excellent service and understanding of our culture that makes Smashburger so successful.”

Inc. is the only major business media brand aimed solely at CEOs of fast-growing private companies. The Hire Power Awards will appear in Inc.’s December/January issue, as well as the brand’s web site, www.inc.com.

“The top 100 companies on the list have created 73,032 American jobs in the three-year period from 2008 to 2011 – an amazing feat, given that much of that job growth came during the heart of the recession,” explains Inc. editor-in-chief Eric Schurenberg. “And it isn’t just the big guys that are adding jobs. Companies with less than $50 million in annual revenue make up nearly one-third of the Hire Power list.”

The inaugural Inc. Hire Power Awards are sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which is proud to recognize American companies that have greatly increased their workforces.

 About Smashburger

Smashburger is America’s fastest growing, fast casual “better burger” restaurant with 200 corporate and franchise restaurants operating in 29 states and in four international countries.  The company began in 2007 with the vision of Rick Schaden and funding by Consumer Capital Partners—the private equity firm that he and his father Richard own. By offering fresh, premium “smashed to order” burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, signature side items and hand-spun Haagen-Dazs shakes, Smashburger has modernized the way people think about burgers.  Known for localizing its menu in every market with regionally inspired burgers and side items and offering local craft beers, Smashburger has received numerous awards including topping Fast Casual’s 2012 Top Mover & Shakers list, America’s Most Promising Company by Forbes magazine, INC. 500’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies INC’s #9 Hire Power Award winner, and is regularly voted “best burger’ in cities all around the world.  To learn more, visit www.smashburger.com.

About Inc.

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.  Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 6,000,000 today.  For more information, visit www.inc.com.

About Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,250 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America Merrill Lynch offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services.  For more information, visit: http://corp.bankofamerica.com/business/smb.

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CONTACT:

Kristina Jorge, ICR

646-277-1234

kjorge@icrinc.com