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Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes React to New California Menu-Labeling Law

October 6, 2008

Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., parent company of Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes, today announced its support for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signing of SB 1420, a bill which requires some California chain restaurants to provide point-of-purchase nutrition information. Headquartered in San Diego, Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes’ restaurants have been providing comprehensive nutrition data for all of its regular menu items since the chain was founded 30 years ago. Currently, all 110 restaurants across the nation provide nutrition information to their guests in the readily-available “Make it Fit” guide.

“Recently there has been a rallying cry from consumers and government for easily accessible nutrition information and healthier menu options,” said Michael Mack, CEO of Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. “However, as we commemorate our 30th anniversary this year, we also celebrate that we have been an advocate of food labeling since our inception. As the creators of the salad buffet concept, we have always believed that sharing this important information is the right thing to do, and we wholeheartedly support the Governor’s signing of this historic bill.”

Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes’ “Make it Fit” guide was compiled by an independent dietician to provide accurate and health-conscious dining information for restaurant guests. From made-from-scratch soups and signature salads to fresh baked breads and hot pastas, each menu item is listed in the brochure along with its nutritional information in 11 different categories, including the amount of calories, cholesterol, total carbohydrates and more. All nutrition information is also available online at www.souplantation.com or www.sweettomatoes.com.

Garden Fresh has taken the concept one step further and developed a nutrition guide specifically for younger diners. For children aged six to 11, Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes offers a “Make it Fun” guide, which uses cartoon characters and fun games to encourage children to add a variety of colorful and nutritious foods to their plate and recommends suggested serving sizes.

Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes’ creation of the “Make it Fit” and “Make it Fun” nutrition guides are just two ways that the restaurant chain demonstrates its long-standing, proactive and transparent approach to providing healthy meals and valuable information to its guests. In addition, the restaurants also do not use artificial trans fats or add MSG, preservatives or fresheners to any of their produce or recipes.

About Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes

Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes was founded in 1978 in San Diego and currently operates 110 salad buffet-style restaurants across the western, southern, and eastern portions of the United States. Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes features an every day selection of made-from-scratch soups and salads and hand-crafted muffins, focaccia and breads and desserts. The concept is built around freshly made, great-tasting, recipes with a salad bar full of seasonal vegetables and tossed salads prepared exhibition-style every 20 minutes. Restaurants are open daily for lunch and dinner and also for a special Sunday Breakfast featuring a variety of wholesome morning favorites in addition to regular selections. Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes provides its guests with an excellent value by offering unlimited access to its entire menu of high quality fresh items at a fixed price. For more information, visit www.souplantation.com or www.sweettomatoes.com.

Editor’s Note: Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. CEO Michael Mack and Executive Director of Brand & Menu Strategy Joan Scharff are available for interviews to discuss the restaurants’ voluntary implementation of nutrition brochures, as well as the overall benefits of providing nutrition information and nutritious menu options for consumers nationwide. Electronic copies of the Make it Fit and Make it Fun guide are also available, upon request.

 Contact: Audrey Doherty-Benedetto/Sandy Young (619) 236-8397  

SOURCE: Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.




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