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Rita Restaurant Corp. Launches First Franchise Program for Don Pablo's

Rita Restaurant Corp. plans to franchise many of its existing 40 company-owned restaurants as well as new Don Pablo's restaurants. Plans call for 30 franchised restaurants by 2012.

"Don Pablo's is a brand with a great legacy and legions of fans. This franchising program will help us build the brand by partnering with great restaurateurs in-market. Our franchisees' operational prowess combined with our great brand and excellent locations will fuel our growth plans," says Kurt Schnaubelt, executive vice president, franchise development for Rita Restaurant Corp. "Don Pablo's is one of the great American restaurant brands known for great food, warm hospitality and a terrific value. We're excited to share that with our franchise partners."

Rita Restaurant Corp. is offering for sale cash-producing restaurants under their re-franchising effort of selling corporate locations to franchisees. In addition, both single- and multi-unit franchise licenses will be offered in existing and new markets. Investment costs are $40,000 per restaurant for the initial franchise fee and $10,000 for each additional restaurant. Franchise candidates must have successful restaurant business experience in the desired market as well as aggregate net worth (personal or ownership team) of $750,000 including $250,000 in liquid assets per restaurant. "We want to be creative and franchisee-friendly in both our criteria and our transactions in an effort to attract high-caliber, quality franchise prospects," Schnaubelt says.

Paul Seidman, chief operating officer for Rita Restaurant Corp., says that the company will initially focus franchise growth on markets where there are Don Pablo's currently operating. Targeted markets currently include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore/Washington in the Northeast, Indiana, Cincinnati and the state of Michigan in the Midwest, Dallas in the Southwest, and Orlando in the Southeast. However, the company will also consider franchise locations in new markets domestically.

"While our initial goal is to further penetrate existing Don Pablo's markets, what we're most interested in at this time is finding the right franchise partners. We want business operators and entrepreneurs who have the experience, enthusiasm and customer-centric focus to be the driving force in moving Don Pablo's into the future," says Seidman.

Don Pablo's restaurants are owned and operated by Don Pablo's Operating, LLC, a subsidiary of Rita Restaurant Corp. of Madison, Ga. The first Don Pablo's restaurant opened near Lubbock, Texas, in 1986. Today, there are 40 Don Pablo's restaurants in 15 states. The menu features made-from-scratch salsa, tortillas made on-premise, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, combination platters, special recipe sauces as well as an entire range of authentic TexMex specialty items.
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