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CST: 11/11/2019 21:35:53   

Meritage Announces Major Development Plans for New Breakfast Concept

80 Days ago

GRAND RAPIDS, Miss., Aug. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, today announced the launch of its own newly created breakfast concept “Morning Belle.”  The first location will open September 25, 2019 in Grand Rapids, MI.  The Company has developed a solid pipeline for new locations and plans to open 35 Morning Belle restaurants by the end of 2025. 

Morning Belle is a light, garden themed sit-down restaurant, operating in the rapidly growing family dining space.   The focus is on delicious breakfast foods, fresh juices and cocktails, developed by our own team of experienced chefs.  Foods will include a line of signature dishes like our glazed donut waffles, healthy options such as our garden grain bowl or classic breakfast foods for the more traditional breakfast guest.  Morning Belle will be open every day 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“Our new concept will provide significant new team member opportunities for growth, including clear career paths for both front-of-house and back-of-house employees to develop as future restaurant leaders.  Our operating hours provide an employee-friendly work environment for those with late afternoon responsibilities, including classes and young families. Our new employee incentive programs are designed to better align customer experience and individual growth,” stated Gary Rose, President & COO.

“We see great opportunity to leverage efficiencies across the Meritage operating platform including real estate development, human resources, information systems and accounting. The Company plans to invest approximately $70.0 million in the development of the initial 35 Morning Belle restaurants through its related internal cash generation, credit facilities and affiliated real estate entities,” added Rose.

The Company has been a leader of new restaurant development within the Wendy’s system, including the recent announcement of a commitment to build an additional 40 Wendy’s restaurants by 2024 under the new Groundbreaker Development Program.  The Company is on pace for a record number of newly built restaurants in 2019 and 2020 located across its 16 states of operation.

Meritage believes sales and earnings growth will accelerate in 2020, driven by newly developed, reimaged and acquired restaurants.  During the first three quarters of 2019, the Company declared common stock cash dividends of $.18 per share representing an increase of 100% over the same period last year, EBITDA growth of 31% and entered into definitive agreements to acquire 10 Wendy’s restaurants. Acquisitions, renovations and new restaurant development are all important pieces of our business model, as we expand in designated market areas.

The Company 2019 Full-Year Outlook: Solid Earnings with Accelerating Growth Ahead

  • Sales growth of +10% to 20%
  • Net Earnings growth of +10% to 20%
  • EBITDA growth of +15% to 25%
  • Common stock dividend growth +50% to 60%

About Meritage

Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, with 321 restaurants in operation located in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Meritage is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, operating with a growing workforce of approximately 10,000 employees. The Company’s public filings can be viewed at www.otcmarkets.com, under the stock symbol MHGU, or the Company’s website www.meritagehospitality.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Certain information in this news release, particularly information regarding future economic performance and finances, and plans, expectations and objectives of management, constitutes forward-looking statements.  Factors set forth in our Safe Harbor Statement, in addition to other possible factors not listed, could affect the Company’s actual results and cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements.  Please review the Company’s Safe Harbor Statement at http://www.meritagehospitality.com.

CONTACT: Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO
Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc.
616-776-2600 Ext 1012

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