Seed Restaurant Group, Inc., parent company to the Fazoli’s restaurant concept, announced today that it has signed a letter of intent with McDonald’s Corporation to mutually dissolve their joint venture that was formed in December 2002. While the joint venture was performing well and according to plan, according to a statement released by Fazoli’s, both parties mutually agreed that dissolution of the joint venture was more in line with their respective strategic priorities at this time. Fazoli’s stated that it is now in a much stronger position to proceed with its menu and brand enhancement initiatives for new growth.

Fazoli’s also announced the opening of two new prototype restaurants in Indianapolis and Denver that feature an open kitchen format and exterior and interior decor brand enhancements. Elements of these enhancements will be introduced to existing Fazoli’s units in 2004, providing company and franchise units with facility upgrades. The Lexington-based restaurant chain also stated plans to introduce a new “Smart Italian” menu starting in January with advertising as well as protein-based entrees and salads for an early summer system wide introduction.

Fazoli’s currently operates in 32 states with a total of 395 company and franchise restaurants.

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