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Così, Inc. Reports 2015 First Quarter Results

CONTACT:
Richard Bagge
Interim Chief Financial Officer

 (857-415-5020)
InvestorRelations@getcosi.com                                                                                            

Così, Inc. Reports 2015 First Quarter Results

Boston, MA - May 14, 2015 - Così, Inc. (NASDAQ: COSI), the fast casual restaurant company, today reported a net loss for the 2015 first quarter ended March 30, 2015, of $(4.3 million) or $(0.12) per basic and diluted common share, compared with a net loss of $(3.1 million) or $(0.17) per basic and diluted common share, in the 2014 first quarter.

System-wide comparable restaurant sales for the 2015 first quarter, as measured for restaurants in operation for more than 15 months, recorded an aggregate 1.2% increase compared to the 2014 first quarter. The breakdown in comparable sales between Company-owned and franchise-operated restaurants is as follows:

 For the 13 weeks ended
      March 30, 2015
Company-owned                                4.4%
Franchise-operated                           -2.7%
Total System                                        1.2%

Così's total revenues for the 2015 first quarter decreased by $0.5 million to $17.9 million from $18.4 million in the 2014 first quarter. Company-owned net restaurant sales decreased by $0.5 million to $17.2 million from $17.7 million for the 2014 first quarter.   Franchise Fees and royalty revenues for the 2015 first quarter contributed $0.7 million compared to $0.6 million in the 2014 first quarter.  The decline in revenues in the 2015 first quarter compared to the 2014 first quarter was primarily driven by the closed stores subsequent to the first quarter of 2014, offset by the increase in comparable Company-owned restaurant sales, the opening of one new Company-owned location and transfer of three locations from franchise-operated to Company-owned. 

"With the Hearthstone merger complete, the technology base in place and the refreshes underway, we are moving forward as planned for 2015," stated RJ Dourney, Cosi President and CEO.  "Miguel Rossy joining us as CFO fills out the executive team, and I am more confident than ever in our ability to make Cosi a strong financial performer," Dourney went on to say.    

2015 First Quarter Financial Performance Review
Così's aforementioned $0.5 million decrease in Company-owned net sales represented a 2.9% decrease in the 2015 first quarter to $17.2 million, compared to $17.7 million in the 2014 first quarter, due to a sales decline of $1.7 million resulting from restaurants closed subsequent to the 2014 first quarter which was offset by $0.7 million or 4.4% increase in comparable restaurant net sales.  Additionally, approximately $0.6 million of sales are from the opening of one new Company-owned location and transfer of three locations from franchise-operated to Company-owned. 

Così reported that, as of the three-month period ended March 30, 2015, it had cash balances of $13.9 million.

The results disclosed in this press release are unaudited.  

About Così, Inc.
Così® (http://www.getcosi.com) is a national fast casual restaurant chain that has developed featured foods built around a secret, generations-old recipe for crackly crust flatbread. This artisan bread is freshly baked in front of customers throughout the day in open-flame stone-hearth ovens prominently located in each of the restaurants. Così's warm and urbane atmosphere is geared towards its sophisticated, upscale, urban and suburban guests. There are currently 78 Company-owned and 34 franchise restaurants operating in sixteen states, the District of Columbia, Costa Rica and the United Arab Emirates. The Così® vision is to become America's favorite fast casual restaurant by providing customers authentic, innovative, savory food while remaining an affordable luxury.

The Così® menu features Così® sandwiches, freshly-tossed salads, bowls, breakfast wraps, melts, soups, Così® Squagels®, flatbread pizzas, S'mores, snacks and other desserts, and a wide range of coffee and coffee-based drinks and other specialty beverages. Così® restaurants are designed to be welcoming and comfortable with an eclectic environment. Così's sights, sounds, and spaces create a tasteful, relaxed ambience that provides a fresh and new dining experience.

"Così," "(Sun & Moon Design)" and related marks are registered trademarks of Così, Inc. in the U.S.A. and certain other countries. Copyright © 2014 Così, Inc. All rights reserved.

"SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995. This press release contains statements that constitute forward- looking statements under the federal securities laws.  Forward-looking statements are statements about future events and expectations and not statements of historical fact. The words "believe," "may," "will," "should," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "objective," "seek," "plan," "strive," or similar words, or negatives of these words, identify forward- looking statements. We qualify any forward-looking statements entirely by these cautionary factors. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future economic performance, taking into account the information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or financial condition to differ materially from the expectations of future results, performance or financial condition we express or imply in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to: the results being reported in this release are unaudited and subject to change; the cost of our principal food products and supply and delivery shortages and interruptions; labor shortages or increased labor costs; changes in demographic trends and consumer tastes and preferences, including changes resulting from concerns over nutritional or safety aspects of beef, poultry, produce, or other foods or the effects of food-borne illnesses, such as E. coli, "mad cow disease" and avian influenza or "bird flu"; competition in our markets, both in our business and in locating suitable restaurant sites; our operation and execution in new and existing markets; expansion into new markets including foreign markets; our ability to attract and retain qualified franchisees and our franchisees' ability to open restaurants on a timely basis; our ability to locate suitable restaurant sites in new and existing markets and negotiate acceptable lease terms; the rate of our internal growth and our ability to generate increased revenue from our existing restaurants; our ability to generate positive cash flow from existing and new restaurants; fluctuations in our quarterly results due to seasonality; increased government regulation and our ability to secure required government approvals and permits; our ability to create customer awareness of our restaurants in new markets; the reliability of our customer and market studies; cost effective and timely planning, design and build out of restaurants; our ability to recruit, train and retain qualified corporate and restaurant personnel and management; market saturation due to new restaurant openings; inadequate protection of our intellectual property; our ability to obtain additional capital and financing; adverse weather conditions which impact customer traffic at our restaurants; and adverse economic conditions. Further information regarding factors that could affect our results and the statements made herein are included in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Additional information is available on Così's website at
http://www.getcosi.com in the investor relations section.


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