November 15, 2001 (SEATTLE, Wash.)–Seattle’s Best Coffee®, LLC, a subsidiary of AFCEnterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFCE) has reached an agreement with RTG Business Enterprises, LP, to develop 16 new cafes in Austin and Waco, Texas by 2006. The addition of the RTG Business Enterprises, LP development agreement boosts Seattle’s Best Coffee’s total commitments signed worldwide this year to 99.
“We are pleased to start our partnership with RTG Business Enterprises, LP, and begin developing Seattle’s Best Coffee cafes in Texas,” said Steve Schickler, President of Seattle Coffee Company, parent company of Seattle’s Best Coffee. “The Austin area ranks high against the national average in brand recognition and specialty coffee drinkers.”
The agreement is to develop 13 cafes in the Austin area and three in Waco. The first cafe is planned to open by January of 2002 in Austin. “I look forward to expanding the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand in the Austin and Waco areas and rapidly developing the 16 cafes,” said Robert Gleason, President of RTG Business Enterprises, LP. Gleason’s business partner Rick Timmins stated, “Seattle’s Best Coffee’s cafes offer a strong commitment to service, quality coffee, and hot and fresh menu items.”
Currently, Seattle’s Best Coffee has eight locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport and four more planned for Love Field in Dallas. Seattle’s Best Coffee operates 142 cafes and distributes coffee products to major grocery store chains, restaurants, foodservice, airlines and hotels. All of the company’s coffee beans are roasted at facilities on Vashon Island, Wash. Seattle’s Best Coffee offers a wide selection of coffee blends including a full line of organic coffee.
Founded in 1971, Seattle Coffee Company operates and franchises Seattle’s Best Coffee® (www.seattlesbest.com) and Torrefazione Italia® Coffee (www.titalia.com) cafes in the United States and eight foreign countries. The company supports Fair Trade Certified® coffee efforts and offers an organic coffee certified by TransFair USA, a non-profit monitoring agency. Part of the Seattle’s Best Coffee mission includes paying a premium above the market rate for coffee beans to fund local concerns in education, housing and community projects within coffee growing regions in Central America.
AFC Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFCE) is the franchisor and operator of more than 3,750 restaurants, bakeries and cafes in the United States, Puerto Rico and 30 foreign countries under the brand names Church’s Chicken™, Popeyes® Chicken & Biscuits, Cinnabon®, Seattle’s Best Coffee®, and Torrefazione Italia® Coffee. AFC’s primary objective is to be the world’s Franchisor of Choice® by offering investment opportunities in highly recognizable brands and exceptional Franchise support systems and services. AFC had system-wide sales of approximately $2.4 billion in 2000 and can be found on the World Wide Web at www.afce.com.
Forward-Looking Statement. Certain statements in this release, and other written or oral statements made by or on behalf of AFC or its brands are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Statements regarding future events and developments and our future performance, as well as management’s expectations, beliefs, plans, estimates or projections relating to the future, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of these laws. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are the cost and availability of our principal food products, labor shortages or increased labor costs, our ability to franchise new units and expand our brands, our and our franchisees’ ability to successfully operate existing units and open new units, changes in consumer preferences and demographic trends, competition, general economic, political and regulatory conditions and the risk factors detailed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 and the other documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, since those statements speak only as of the date they are made.
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