FOCUS Brands Inc. Names Russ Umphenour as President and CEO

- Restaurant Industry Veteran Joins Multi-Concept Organization to Lead Growth Efforts;  Steve Romaniello Named Chairman of FOCUS Brands and Joins Roark Capital Group as Managing Director –

ATLANTA, Ga. (November 10, 2008) –.FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of over 2,200 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill® and Seattle’s Best Coffee®, announced today that Russ Umphenour has been named President and CEO. Former Chief Executive Steve Romaniello has been named Chairman of the Board, and joins Roark Capital Group as Managing Director and a member of the private equity firm’s Investment Committee.

Based in Atlanta with $1.5 billion of equity capital under management, Roark Capital has purchased 14 franchise brands with over 13,500 points of distribution in 50 states and 33 countries. Affiliates of Roark Capital own a majority interest in FOCUS Brands.

“Steve and I have been friends and partners for over 12 years,” said Neal Aronson, Roark founder and managing partner. “Steve will meaningfully enhance our ability to partner with and build outstanding franchise companies, and his leadership at Roark would not have been a possibility unless we found the perfect person to take FOCUS Brands into the future. Russ’ experience, energy and enthusiasm, coupled with the utmost integrity, make this a win-win for all.”

“We were looking for a leader with a proven track record of success who could intimately relate to all FOCUS Brands constituents,” added Steve Romaniello. “Franchisees will benefit from Russ’ experience as an entrepreneur and franchisee; our owners will benefit from his expertise in strategically and profitably growing an organization; and our associates will benefit from Russ’ strong culture advocacy and his unwavering commitment to developing people.”

With over 40 years in the restaurant business, Russ began his career as a part-time counter person at an Arby’s restaurant in 1967, and became the founder and CEO of Atlanta-based RTM (Results Through Motivation) Restaurant Group in 1973. Growing his company from 11 Arby’s restaurants into one of the largest restaurant companies in the country with 870 locations in 22 states across several different concepts, RTM was sold in July 2005 to Triarc Companies, Inc. (Arby’s Restaurant Group). At the time of the sale, RTM was Arby’s largest franchisee with 775 restaurants and 25,000 employees generating revenues of more than $900 million. Known as an innovator in the Arby’s system, RTM was synonymous with top-notch talent, high standards, and results, and Russ’ lifelong study of motivation and productivity to better learn how to provide the best opportunities for people to succeed is well known throughout the industry.

“FOCUS Brands has an impeccable reputation in the restaurant industry, and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this terrific organization,” commented Umphenour. “The company was founded with a distinct culture that recognizes the importance of making its constituents happy, and I believe my philosophy of creating a clear business vision while focusing on setting goals and leading by values will provide an ‘anything is possible’ attitude as we move into this new era.”

Cinnabon Rolls out New Pecanbon Bites

–  Miniature, portable treats like grandma used to make also available in traditional Classic Cinnabon flavor  –

Atlanta (Nov. 3, 2008) – Don’t have time to sit down and savor a world-famous Classic roll from Cinnabon, Inc. but still want to indulge in fresh, hot baked goods, one bite at a time?  Then grab a four-count sleeve of new Pecanbon Bites at participating bakeries for a suggested retail price of just $2.99, or add a second order for only two dollars more.* 

Perfect for a quick break from the shopping hustle bustle, these ooey gooey Bites are filled with the brand’s signature Makara® Cinnamon, baked in a tantalizing honey caramel pecan glaze and topped with chopped pecan morsels and the brand’s caramel frosting.

“When we initially introduced Cinnabon® Bites, they were quite the hit, and our Caramel Pecanbon® roll is a fan favorite as well, so we wanted to ‘wow’ our guests by combining these two delicious products into one irresistible treat – or in this case, four,” said Geoff Hill, president of Cinnabon, Inc.

Guests craving the traditional Cinnabon® cinnamon flavor can treat themselves as well with Classic Bites for a suggested retail price as low as $2.49.*  Regardless of which variety you’re after, Pecanbon and Classic Bites are great for sharing – or not. 

* Prices and participation vary by location.

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