EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Buffets, Inc. (Nasdaq: BOCB)
announced today the appointment of Michael T. Sweeney as a new independent
director, and the retirement of David Michael Winton and Dr. Christian Horn
from the Company's board. Mr. Sweeney is the President and Chief Executive
Officer of The Minnesota Pizza Company, a franchisee and high growth developer
of Papa Johns(R) pizzerias. He previously served as the Chief Executive
Officer of Blockbuster Mid-America, and has held a number of earlier posts in
investment banking and real estate investment. Mr. Winton was an original
investor of Buffets, Inc. and served as a director since 1990. Dr. Horn was
an early investor and director of HomeTown Buffet, Inc. prior to HomeTown's
merger with Buffets, Inc. in 1996, and served on the Buffets, Inc. board since
Mr. Roe H. Hatlen, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive officer
stated, "The appointment of Michael T. Sweeney will bring a fresh perspective
to Buffets, Inc.'s board of directors. His enthusiasm is infectious, and his
combined background in restaurant development, investment banking and real
estate will be a superb compliment to the existing talents on the board. We
will miss Mike Winton and Chris Horn as they have played key roles in the
growth and development of our Company. We thank them for their contributions
and wish them the best in their future endeavors."
In other news, the Company also reported that HomeTown Buffet(R) was
ranked "America's Choice in 1998 for Cafeteria/Buffet Chain Restaurants"
according to a nationwide survey conducted by Restaurants and Institutions
magazine. The annual R&I survey, reported in the magazine's March 1, 1998
issue, compiled data from 2,806 respondents. The poll also established that
HomeTown Buffet(R) was ranked by the respondents as being the best in terms of
"value" among 92 restaurant chains, ranging from "Burgers" to "Dinner Houses".
Commenting on the award, Mr. Hatlen stated, "We could not be more pleased with
this high distinction for HomeTown Buffet(R). Our Old Country Buffet(R)
concept received similar awards from R&I in previous years, and coupled with
these most recent rankings, reflect the inherent strength of both of our core
Buffets, Inc. is the largest operator of buffet style restaurants, with
242 Old Country Buffet(R), 116 HomeTown Buffet(R), 4 RoadHouse Grill(SM), 1
Country Roadhouse Buffet & Grill(SM) and 1 PIZZAPLAY(SM) restaurants open as
of the end of the fourth quarter.
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On-Call" 800-758-5804 extension 122825, or on the Internet at:
SOURCE Buffets, Inc.