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Famous Dave’s Announces Annual Operator Awards

March 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

Minneapolis, MN, March 11, 2009 – FAMOUS DAVE’S OF AMERICA, INC. (NASDAQ: DAVE) President and CEO Christopher O’Donnell today announced the winners of the annual awards presented at the recent Famous Dave’s Franchise Partner Conference and the General Manager Workshops.  Among the recipients of the 2009 awards were Bill Ryan, and his sons Pat and Casey Ryan, of Rocky Mountain Ribs for Franchisee of the Year, Anand Gala of Tacaza, Inc. for Area Developer of the Year and the Famous Dave’s of North Olmstead, OH, owned by Buckeye BBQ, as Restaurant of the Year.  Famous Dave’s also presented Famous Five Dining of Nashville, TN, with the Enduring Flame Commitment to People Award and Cutchall Management of Branson, MO, with the Community Involvement Award.  Baldinger Bakery Corporation was named Famous Dave’s Supplier of the Year.

“At a time in our industry when it’s crucial to be focused and to perform better than ever, it’s important to recognize excellence within your own organization,” said Christopher O’Donnell, President and CEO of Famous Dave’s.  “I want to congratulate all of the winners of Famous Dave’s annual awards, and thank them for serving as role models for the entire Famous Dave’s family.”

Franchisee of the Year Rocky Mountain Ribs, owned by Bill Ryan and his sons Pat and Casey Ryan, is headquartered in Billings, MT, and owns and operates five Famous Dave’s restaurants in the states of Montana and Idaho.  Famous Dave’s selects its Franchisee of the Year based on operational excellence as measured by sales volume, high performance scores in guest feedback programs, food safety and other assessments, participation in system-wide programs, development of personnel and ambassadorship of the brand. 

            Tacaza, Inc., winner of Area Developer of the Year, owns and operates five Famous Dave’s in California, including two that opened in 2008.  Franchisee Buckeye BBQ owns and operates the Famous Dave’s of North Olmstead, OH, named Restaurant of the Year.  The Restaurant of the Year award honors best overall achievement in sales, service and people management.

            Famous Five Dining of Nashville, TN, owned by Mike and Tamara Lister, and Laurel and Doug Renegar, was awarded the Enduring Flame Commitment to People Award.  Famous Five Dining sets a high standard for community involvement and charitable contributions, supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other great causes.  This year’s Famous Dave’s Community Involvement award went to Cutchall Management of Branson, MO, in recognition of their deep involvement with the people and organizations in their area.

            Baldinger Bakery Company of St. Paul, MN, was named Famous Dave’s Supplier of the Year.  Their extremely high levels of service, innovation and value were demonstrated over and over again throughout the year.

Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que features award-winning hickory-smoked St. Louis-style spare ribs, Texas beef brisket, Georgia chopped pork and a variety of Famous Dave’s regional BBQ sauces.  Additionally, the menu offers barbeque and country roasted chicken, BBQ sandwiches, burgers and salads.  Restaurants prepare and serve up such down home classics as coleslaw, potato salad, Wilbur Beans, corn bread muffins and Famous Fries.  Famous Dave’s delectable homestyle desserts include its award-winning bread pudding and hot fudge Kahlua brownie.

Having won over 300 awards for everything from best sauce to best ribs to best cookbook, Famous Dave’s has received wide acclaim and praise from guests and critics alike.  Famous Dave’s Rib Team regularly competes in rib competitions across the country, and has raked in 1st place awards at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, Nevada, the Southern Florida Championship Cook Off in Jupiter, Florida, the Great American Rib Cook-off in Ohio, the Sioux Empire Rib-fest in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Rib Fest & More in Fargo, North Dakota, the Pontiac Rib America Rib Fest in Pontiac, Michigan, the Twin Cities Rockin’ Rib Fest in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Rib America Indianapolis Rib Fest in Indianapolis, Indiana to name just a few.

About Famous Dave’s.  Famous Dave’s of America, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAVE) develops, owns, operates and franchises barbeque restaurants.  The company currently owns 47 locations and franchises 126 additional units in 37 states.  Its menu features award-winning barbequed and grilled meats, an ample selection of salads, side items and sandwiches, and unique desserts.  For more information, please visit or contact Pat Courtemanche at (612) 746-1776.

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical, including but not limited to statements regarding the timing of our restaurant openings and the timing or success of our expansion plans, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, which may cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from expected results.  Although Famous Dave's of America, Inc. believes the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectation will be attained.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Famous Dave's expectation include financial performance, restaurant industry conditions, execution of restaurant development and construction programs, franchisee performance, changes in local or national economic conditions, availability of financing, governmental approvals and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports.