SMASHBURGER RECOGNIZES FRANCHISE PARTNERS WITH ANNUAL AWARDS

DENVER, CO — November 7, 2011 — Smashburger, the nation’s fastest growing “better burger” concept, today announced the recipients of its Franchise Awards which were given out to five deserving franchise groups at the company’s annual franchise conference in Denver.  

“We are pleased to recognize these incredibly committed franchisees that have made a significant impact on Smashburger’s growth this year,” said Dave Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger. “We would like to congratulate each of our award winners and extend our appreciation to all of our franchise partners who have made Smashburger the strong brand it is today.  Our success is due in large part to the support and dedication of our talented franchise partners and we look forward to their continued contributions in 2012.”

This year’s top Franchise Awards recipients include:

Franchisee of the Year Award: SunWest Burger’s David Doty, Chuck Riske, Kurt Riske and Robin Yoshimura are this year’s recipients of the Franchisee of the Year Award. This award indentifies the franchise group that exemplifies excellence in all areas, demonstrating a drive for success, passion for the brand, extraordinary customer service and attention to detail. SunWest Burgers currently operates six Smashburger locations in Phoenix, AZ.

Founder’s Award: Smash Bros’ David Whisenhunt, Wayne Mandelbaum and Tom Elkins were honored with the 2011 Founder’s Award.  This award recognizes the franchise group that demonstrates the principles and values of the Smashburger brand while delivering results, demonstrating commitment to the brand and focusing unwaveringly on success. Smash Bros currently operates seven Smashburger locations in San Diego, CA.

Operator of the Year Award:  BIGG Capital Holdings’ Tye Williams and David LaFlash received this year’s Operator of the Year Award. This award celebrates the operator who sets the system standard for store-level execution by performing well on operating metrics, achieving consistent positive customer feedback and high marks on secret shops. BIGG Capital Holdings’ currently operates four Smashburger locations in Dallas, TX.

Leadership Award: Rodenkirch Management Group’s Amy Kessling and Tom Rodenkirch were awarded the 2011 Leadership Award. This award recognizes franchisees who celebrate people as the most valuable asset. Leadership Award recipients focus on recruiting, training and retaining the best team. Rodenkirch Management Group currently operates six Smashburger locations in Dayton, OH.

Rookie of the Year Award: Rising Star Group’s Phil Wilkins and Ron Kump were honored with the first annual Rookie of the Year Award. This award recognizes franchisees that opened in a new market and demonstrate leadership in launching the brand, hiring great talent and training strong team members to introduce Smashburger into the new communities they serve. Rising Star Group operates three locations in Atlanta, GA.

About Smashburger
Smashburger is the country’s fastest growing, fast casual “better burger” restaurant.  Its hand-crafted burgers are made with fresh, never frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef, that are “smashed”, seared and seasoned on the grill to juicy perfection for every individual order.  Guests can create their own burger masterpiece or enjoy one of Smashburger’s innovative signature recipes, including a unique burger for every local market that highlights the distinctive flavors of that region. Smashburger also serves tender marinated grilled or crispy chicken sandwiches, grilled and split hot dogs, freshly prepared entrée salads, kids meals, handspun Häagen-Dazs® shakes and an array of signature sides. Developed and owned by private equity firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), Smashburger operates and develops both corporate and multi-unit franchise territories across the country with 129 restaurants nationwide. Smashburger was also named to the 2011 Inc. 500 list and is the recipient of the International Council of Shopping Centers 2011 Hot Retailer Award.  To learn more, visit www.smashburger.com.

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