Chester's Crows Over Circle K Deal

Signs multi-restaurant franchise agreement with major retailer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Chester's International LLC has announced its first restaurant opening through a franchise agreement with Circle K Stores Inc.

Circle K has signed two franchise agreements that include the opening of two franchised Chester's locations at Circle K corporate stores. The first restaurant opened in-line with a Circle K located in Star Valley, Ariz., on April 21. The restaurant features seating for 30 dine-in customers and offers a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu with drive-thru service. A second Chester's location is scheduled to [image-nocss] open in May within a Circle K corporate store in Huachuca City near Tucson, Ariz.

"This partnership is a starting point for two strong brands in the c-store industryone of the largest operators of c-stores and one of the largest foodservice providers" said Russ Cooper, Chester's president.

Star Valley will be the starting point between Circle K, owned by parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Laval, Quebec, and Chester's involving company-owned Circle K locations.

The company said it is aggressively expanding its franchise foodservice program in c-stores.

Chester's has more than 1,500 locations worldwide, and more than 1,000 licensed and franchise locations in c-stores and travel plazas throughout the country. The company began offering franchises in late 2004 and has awarded 83 franchise stores to date. As part of Chester's Project 500, the company plans to secure 500 franchises by 2010.

Cooper added: "We are looking to continue expansion in convenience stores and build upon our providing a great return on investment with flexible store designs, a great-tasting product and our compatibility with many other foodservice concepts."

Birmingham, Ala.-based Chester's is a provider of quick-serve restaurant (QSR) concepts with more than 1,500 Chester Fried licensed and Chester's franchised locations. It offers flexible size and store layout options, training and support. Chester's uses chicken that is specially marinated and double-breaded using a proprietary family recipe and offers bone-in, tenders and potato wedges as well as sandwiches, wraps, salads, breakfast and sides.