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McDonald's and Italian Restaurant Concept 'Fazoli's' Form Joint Venture

Deal Outlined in April Letter of Intent Now Final

Dec 16, 2002

McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) and Fazoli's, a fast-casual Italian restaurant concept based in Lexington, Kentucky, have agreed to form a joint venture to develop 20 to 30 Fazoli's restaurants in three U.S. markets. McDonald's will also have an option to purchase the entire company at a later date. The agreement finalizes a deal originally outlined in a letter of intent signed by Fazoli's and McDonald's last April.

Fazoli's operates more than 400 restaurants in 32 states. Their menu focuses primarily on pasta and also offers Italian Submarinos® and panini sandwiches and salads.

"The McDonald's family of restaurant brands gives consumers what they want and what their busy lifestyles demand: a variety of craveable tastes and memorable dining experiences to fit the time they have," said Russ Smyth, President, Partner Brands, McDonald's Corporation. "A strong Italian restaurant brand like Fazoli's is an exciting addition to the portfolio -- and the joint venture will help us further explore the potential of the brand."

Fazoli's President and CEO Kuni Toyoda said, "We are excited about the joint venture and what it means for the future growth of Fazoli's. The combination of our brand and knowledge of the Italian segment with McDonald's resources and expertise in site development, supply chain, and other business systems is a great formula for success, and creates real opportunity for our employees."

The joint venture will be headed by Raymond Mines, former EVP of System Relations for McDonald's Corporation. The joint venture will take over management of the existing Fazoli's market in Denver and will introduce the brand in two new markets, which are still being identified.

Fazoli's Italian Restaurants bring together two of America's most popular dining concepts -- the family Italian restaurant and a fast-casual atmosphere. Fazoli's promotes a great experience, reasonable prices, quality food, and quick service. The menu includes Italian favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine Alfredo, lasagna and ravioli, along with its signature Submarinos and panini sandwiches, salads, and free breadsticks.

McDonald's is the world's leading and best-known foodservice retailer with about 30,000 restaurants serving 46 million customers each day. Currently, McDonald's owns and operates more than 650 Boston Market locations in the U.S., three in Sydney, Australia, and one in Toronto, Canada, as well as about 180 Donatos Pizzeria restaurants in the U.S. and one in Munich, Germany. The company has a majority interest in Chipotle with more than 220 U.S. restaurants, and a minority interest in Pret A Manger ready-to-eat sandwich shops with more than 120 locations in the United Kingdom, 13 shops in New York City, four in Hong Kong and three in Japan.


This press release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to McDonald's and Fazoli's. They use such words as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "plan" and other similar terminology. These statements reflect the current expectations of McDonald's and Fazoli's regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties.

The following are some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or underlying McDonald's forward- looking statements: the effectiveness of operating and technology initiatives and advertising and promotional efforts, as well as changes in: global and local business and economic conditions; currency exchange and interest rates; food, labor and other operating costs; political or economic instability in local markets; competition; consumer preferences, spending patterns and demographic trends; legislation and governmental regulation; and accounting policies and practices. The foregoing list of important factors is not exclusive.

McDonald's undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



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SOURCE: McDonald's Corporation

CONTACT: Investors, Mary Healy, +1-630-623-6429, or Media, Lisa Howard,
+1-630-623-5044, both of McDonald's, or Media, Dave Craig of Fazoli's,

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