Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Big Ed's Plans Expansion of Hamburger Resturants

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Big Ed's Plans Expansion of Hamburger Resturants

Article excerpt

Feature Editor "Big Ed" Thomas has emerged from a four-year low-profile period and has initiated plans to expand his Big Ed's Hamburgers business with 20 to 25 new restaurants this year.

First step toward that end is the contracting of Nick Hahalis, president and chief executive officer of Health Industries Inc., to serve as chief operating officer of Big Ed's Hamburgers Franchise Systems Inc., said Thomas, president and founder of the hamburger chain.

"Nick Hahalis is going to be running my company for me. I'm just going to be around in an advisory capacity and make public appearances. The company has just grown beyond my capabilities, and so I have hired a professional CEO.

"Everything is looking great. We had a problem a few years ago when my wife got hurt in an accident. She now is doing much better. We are now at the point of wanting to grow again. We want to start working on our company again and make it as solid as possible. That's why we brought Nick aboard," Thomas said.

"There has been no expansion at all in the past four years. My wife got hurt in October 1986, and I kind of put everything on the back burner until I got her back. Things have just been cruising as will," he said.

"We've got some wonderful customers out there that supported us, and we really do appreciate them," he said.

No changes are anticipated in the basic operations or menus of the existing 18 Big Ed's Hamburgers restaurants in the Oklahoma City area, Thomas said.

Big Ed's Hamburgers corporate offices will be maintained at 12211 N. Pennsylvania Ave., he said.

Hahalis said under terms of the contract he will devote most of his time to the operation of Big Ed's Hamburgers.

"We plan to initiate a controlled growth program for the company by adding 20 to 25 new restaurants to the existing 18 metro area units by the end of the year. Some of the new stores will be company owned as well as franchised. …

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