"Cosi is fortunate to have a high-caliber, passionate individual such as Kevin playing a part in the future of our business," said Forrest. "Kevin's experience and perspective are well-suited to improving operations and fulfilling the long-term strategic vision for Cosi. He will bring a strong focus and unrelenting commitment to creating a vital business and fostering an inclusive culture for our partners, customers, and shareholders." Forrest added, "I would also like to thank Jay Wainwright, a Cosi founder, for his entrepreneurial vision in creating the exciting Cosi concept and his work as interim CEO. I am also pleased to announce that Jay will continue to work with Cosi."
Armstrong has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry. In his most recent position at Long John Silver's, Armstrong developed successful brand strategies that reversed two years of sales decline and resulted in three years of same store sales growth and profitability. Armstrong was pivotal in bringing the company out of bankruptcy, ultimately leading to its sale to YUM Brands. Prior to his tenure at Long John Silver's Armstrong served as Chief Marketing Officer for Subway Franchisee Advertising Trust, an independent arm of the $3.2B Subway brand. There he reengineered marketing processes and reversed an 18 month negative sales and profit performance period, increasing store profitability. Armstrong also served as a consultant to PepsiCo's restaurant services division, developing brand-positioning strategies for over forty diverse companies. Before this, Armstrong was responsible for both domestic and international marketing strategies at Burger King.
"We believe Cosi represents the best in taste - both food and attitude," said Forrest. "Kevin will help us continue our efforts to position Cosi for growth."
Kevin Armstrong said "I look forward to joining Cosi at this stage in its growth. Cosi has a strong and recognizable brand with a clear consumer following in a crowded market. The successes already achieved at Cosi and the plans put in place since Bill became Chairman give us a solid foundation from which to build an enduring concept."
Cosi restaurants are all-day cafes that feature signature bread and coffee products in a unique environment that changes throughout the day. Cosi offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee, dinner and dessert menus full of creative, cravable foods and beverages. Cosi has developed featured foods that are built around a secret, generations-old recipe for crackly crust flatbread. These products are freshly baked in front of customers throughout the day in open flame stone hearth ovens prominently located in each of the restaurants. There are 94 Cosi locations in eleven states and the District of Columbia.
SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements about future events and expectations and not statements of historical fact. The words "believe," "may," "will," "should," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "objective," "seek," "plan," "strive," or similar words, or negatives of these words, identify forward-looking statements. We qualify any forward-looking statements entirely by these cautionary factors. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future economic performance, taking into account the information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or financial condition to differ materially from the expectations of future results, performance or financial condition we express or imply in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to: the cost of our principal food products; fluctuations in our quarterly results; labor shortages or increased labor costs; increased government regulation; changes in consumer preferences and demographic trends; supply and delivery shortages or interruptions; increasing competition in the fast casual dining segment of the restaurant industry; market saturation due to new restaurant openings; expansion into new markets; inadequate protection of our intellectual property; our ability to effectively manage our business with a reduced general and administrative staff; our ability to incorporate a franchising and area development model into our strategy; the availability and cost of additional financing; adverse weather conditions which impact customer traffic at our restaurants; and adverse economic conditions. Further information regarding factors that could affect our results and the statements made herein are included in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.