Industry News | June 4, 2007

O'Naturals Teams With Compass Group

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Responding to consumer demand for healthier fare, O'Naturals, the country's only natural and organic quick service restaurant chain, is partnering with Compass Group, the world's largest foodservice company.

The strategic partnership between the two companies will offer Compass Group clients and customers O'Naturals retail, natural foods concept and compliment Compass Group's existing external brand portfolio. Franchised O'Naturals kiosks and restaurants will soon be available to Compass Group managed corporations, hospitals, colleges, universities and other contracted locations.

The first corporate O'Naturals franchise opened in April at Timberland's headquarters (managed by Eurest, a division of Compass Group) in Stratham, New Hampshire, where employees have been requesting O'Naturals offerings.

"This is a huge opportunity to expand our concept and roll out O'Naturals to people across the country," says Gary Hirshberg, O'Naturals chairman and co-founder. "Our timing could not be better as people are demanding organic and natural offerings, even when on the run. We've had a great response to our franchising activities in the past year, and this partnership with Compass Group brings O'Naturals to an entirely new level."

"Compass Group is responding to demands from their clients for more high quality natural and organic options," says Jay Friedlander, COO of O'Naturals. "Their clients want to eat food made from the same premium ingredients they are eating at home.

"The customers at Timberland love the great taste of the O'Naturals menu items and their product line is a good fit for many of our clients" says Will Chizmar head of marketing for Compass Group's Business and Industry Dining Services.

O'Naturals was the brainchild of organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm's President and CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg. A frequent traveler and soccer coach, Hirshberg felt held hostage by fast food outlets, until he and partner Mac McCabe created the O'Naturals concept.

"We started with the simple premise that people are tired of eating the same old food made with mysterious ingredients and served in plastic surroundings," says Hirshberg. "Instead, we offer them delicious food made from exceptional natural and organic ingredients served in a comfortable atmosphere."

O'Naturals currently has three company-owned locations: Portland and Falmouth, Maine, and Acton,Massachusetts, two franchise locations in Wichita, Kansas, and Orlando, Florida, and other locations underway in South and North Carolina. Opening its first store in Falmouth, Maine in 2001, O'Naturals was the first natural and organic fast casual concept operation in the country. Its menu includes flatbread sandwiches and pizzas, soups, tossed salads, Asian noodles, kids' meals, fresh baked goods and, where permitted, micro-brewed beer and wine. Ingredients are natural, organic, local or wild. About O'Naturals