Commenting on the appointment, Fitzpatrick said, "John's responsibilities have steadily increased since joining Quality Dining in 1996. During his tenure at Quality Dining, he has successfully applied his exceptional analytical and leadership abilities to the many challenges we have confronted and opportunities we have seized."
Firth noted that he was "deeply humbled" by the appointment. He said, "I am particularly honored to be appointed to an office that has been filled by Dan Fitzpatrick since the founding of our Company. My success will ultimately be measured by the degree to which I am able to perpetuate the extraordinary accomplishments Dan has achieved at Quality Dining." He also commented that he was excited at the prospect of continuing to work with Fitzpatrick and the other members of the Company's management team, which he considers "second to none" in the restaurant industry.
Fitzpatrick also commented, "In the future, our Company will embrace several new and exciting opportunities. John's new role will help ensure that our Company and our management team are fully prepared to capitalize on them at the appropriate times."
Firth joined Quality Dining in 1996 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In 1998 he was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to 1996, he was a partner at the law firm of Sopko & Firth where he represented the Company as outside counsel since 1985.
Quality Dining owns the Grady's American Grill®, Papa Vino's Italian Kitchen(TM) and Spageddies Italian Kitchen(TM) concepts and operates Burger King® restaurants and Chili's Grill & Bar® restaurants as a franchisee. As of December 6, 2005, the Company operates 122 Burger King restaurants, 41 Chili's Grill & Bar restaurants, six Papa Vino's Italian Kitchen(TM) restaurants, three Spageddies Italian Kitchen restaurants, one Grady's American Grill restaurants, and one Porterhouse Steaks and Seafood(TM) restaurant.