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CHECKERS DRIVE-IN RESTAURANTS, INC. AND FRANCHISEE LA-VAN HAWKINS TO OPEN 60 PHILADELPHIA-AREA STORES OVER TWO YEARS

 CHECKERS DRIVE-IN RESTAURANTS, INC. AND FRANCHISEE LA-VAN HAWKINS
 TO OPEN 60 PHILADELPHIA-AREA STORES OVER TWO YEARS
 First Local Store to Open in West Philadelphia on Oct. 10
 PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when most of the nation's leading fast-food chains have been stabilizing or reducing their number of restaurants in the Delaware Valley, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHKR), a Clearwater, Fla.-based fast-food company, today announced a two-year plan to open 60 new company and franchisee-owned stores in Philadelphia and in the surrounding counties.
 The announcement was made by the company's president and CEO James E. Mattei, its chairman Herbert G. Brown and by its Philadelphia master franchisee La-Van Hawkins, president La-Van Hawkins & Associates.
 Checkers, whose primary menu item is the "Champ Burger," offers high-quality food in a distinctive art-deco, 1950s-style drive-in facility. An integral part of the Checker competitive strategy is its commitment to serve customers within 30 seconds of their arrival at the drive-thru window. The company plans to open its first Philadelphia restaurant -- a franchisee-owned store -- at 58th Street and Baltimore Avenue, here, the former site of a Burger King Restaurant.
 Since 1989, Checkers has opened 138 restaurants in the southeast and Midwest section of the country, including the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin.
 The company attributes much of its rapid expansion to two factors: one, a marketing concept that takes advantage of recent national consumer trends toward off-site food consumption (take-out and drive-through), and the fact that its restaurants are made from prefabricated construction units. The units are built by the company at a plant in Clearwater and shipped directly to each new site. Generally, a new Checkers Restaurant is ready to be opened in about 10 days after the prefabricated unit is delivered to the site.
 In addition to 58th and Baltimore, Hawkins already has identified seven other locations for local expansion between now and February 1993, including sites in North Central Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia and Mount Airy.
 "We plan to be very visible in the African-American community," said Hawkins. "With each store, we'll bring 100 jobs, six managerial positions and a new attitude about providing service to our customers in the neighborhoods. We also plant to form partnerships with our vendors and with other businesses, and to work very closely with school district officials in support of education and training programs."
 Over the same period, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., plans to open four company-owned stores in the Greater Philadelphia area, including two restaurants in Northeast Philadelphia, one in Bristol, Pa., and another in Norristown, Pa.
 Hawkins, 32, actually began his career in the fast-food industry at the age of 11, working as a part-time maintenance employee on weekends at his uncle's McDonald's Restaurant on the west side of Chicago.
 He said Checkers plans to become a "lead player" among Philadelphia fast-food companies over the next two years. "While Checkers is a relatively new company, we are certainly no strangers to the fast food business," said Hawkins, "and, with 60 locations, we'll have a greater Philadelphia presence than virtually all of the other national fast food chains.
 "If you simply look in the Philadelphia phonebook," Hawkins added, "you see that McDonald's has only 39 city locations, Burger King has 23, Wendy's has 10. We believe that leaves a great deal of room for a company like ours, especially given the fact that Philadelphia is the third-largest hamburger market in the country."
 Hawkins added that the Checkers concept of smaller units and faster service will allow the company to pay higher wages and salaries to both entry-level employees and managers.
 "We pay a higher average wage than McDonald's, Burger King and the other better-known fast-food companies," said Hawkins. "Once that word gets out, however, we should have no problem at all in attracting the very best people in the market place."
 Checkers common stock is listed and traded on the over-the-counter market. (Stock trading symbol: CHKR).
 /delval/
 -0- 9/23/92
 /CONTACT: A. Bruce Crawley of Crawley Haskins & Rogers, 215-922-7184, for Checkers/
 (CHKR) CO: Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc.; La-Van Hawkins & Associates ST: Pennsylvania IN: REA SU:


CD-CC -- PH046 -- 2876 09/23/92 18:36 EDT
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Date:Sep 23, 1992
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