Smashburger Signs Midwest Franchise Deal, Strengthening Its Expansion in the Region

Franchise agreement to bring 10 Smashburgers to burger lovers in Nebraska

DENVER – May 26, 2009 – Smashburger, 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 tenth franchisee, Reload LLC. The latest agreement brings the total number of Smashburger franchise locations to 187.

The latest franchise deal is another step in Smashburger’s forward-moving national expansion plans. The company began its franchise expansion in the fall of 2008 and has signed 10 deals with established, proven multi-unit operators. The strategy is allowing Smashburger to grow swiftly without affecting its core consumer promise of a “better burger” value that maximizes guests’ time and dining experience.

“Franchise partners like Reload fit perfectly with how we’re trying to grow and expand,” said Scott Crane, president of Smashburger. “Reload brings experience and expertise to the table and really understands how to operate a successful restaurant franchise. We’re excited to have found such a strong franchisee to help us enter the Nebraska market. With Reload on board, we’re sure to satisfy Nebraskan’s desire for a better burger.”

Reload owner Jim Stevens also owns and operates more than 30 popular fast-casual and casual dining franchise units in the Midwest. The 10 Smashburgers Reload has agreed to open will cover markets in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. The franchisee has already scouted locations and is on schedule to open its first restaurant by the end of the year. The remaining nine locations are still very early in the planning stages but are slated to open over the next few years.

“Having been in the restaurant business for so long, we noticed the market was missing a key player – a place where diners could get an amazing burger in a fun, modern environment at a price that wouldn’t break the bank, particularly in the current economic times,” said Jim Stevens, president of Reload. “That’s when we found Smashburger and were immediately sold. We’re thrilled to bring the Smashburger magic to Nebraska.”

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