SOURCE: Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.

January 25, 2008 09:06 ET

Meritage Raises More Than $1,000,000 for Local Children's Charities in Past Ten Years

GRAND RAPIDS, MI--(Marketwire - January 25, 2008) - Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (PINKSHEETS: MHGU), one of the nation's premier franchise operators and employer of 2,000 Michigan residents through its subsidiaries, today announced it has raised over $115,000 this past holiday season for the benefit of children's organizations throughout West Michigan. On behalf of its customers at its 49 Wendy's restaurants and two West Michigan O'Charley's restaurants, Meritage raised most of its contribution through 50¢ per order donations to its "Change a Child's Life Program."

"Together with Regent Broadcasting, our radio sponsors and partners, our restaurants served as a collection point for the generosity of our West Michigan customers," stated Robert E. Schermer Jr., the Company's CEO. "Our customers are the real heroes here."

Following examples set forth by renowned West Michigan philanthropic leaders such as the DeVos and Van Andel families, we have been blessed to have the ability to give back to our communities and support these wonderful children's organizations in West Michigan. Special thanks go to store managers Laurie Reimer and Matt McCoy for their exceptional performance in raising these funds during the past holiday season.

Mr. Schermer added, "With Michigan facing an unprecedented seven-year single state recession, our children's charities have been hurt financially with fewer donations, while the demand for children's services increases. Meritage has developed a corporate culture of giving back to the communities where we live and work. The 'Change a Child's Life Program' is our opportunity to help serve those who cannot serve themselves." Through its "Change a Child's Life Program" Meritage has raised over $1,000,000 since the program's inception in 1997. Charitable organizations that Meritage has supported or will be supporting include:

The St. John's Children's Home      Gilda's Club
DeVos Children's Hospital           Ottawa County Abuse & Neglect Council
Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation     Make A Wish Foundation
Mentor 1                            Griffins Youth Foundation
St. Jude's                          Salvation Army Booth Family Services
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society         Gryphon Place
Juvenile Arthritis Foundation       Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids
Kalamazoo Air Zoo - Kids Event      Grant Public Schools
Bethany Christian Services          Wedgewood Christian Services
Potters House                       Binder Park Zoo
The Twin Cities Jaycees             WGVU - Kid Day at the Zoo
DA Blodgett for Children            Boys & Girls Club
Catholic Social Services            Kids Food Basket
Lutheran Social Services of         South Haven Memorial Library

Meritage is one of the nation's premier franchise operators, currently operating 53 restaurants in two brands: Wendy's in the quick service restaurant segment and O'Charley's in the casual dining segment.

Contact Information

    Heather Halligan
    Marketing Director
    Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.