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Famous Dave's rolls out low-cal selections

Famous Dave’s of America, the owner or franchisor of 181 barbecue restaurants in the United States, has launched a line of six Citrus Grill BBQ platters containing fewer than 600 calories each.

The platters feature grilled salmon, grilled shrimp, steak tenderloin, sauceless pork ribs, pork tenderloin and grilled chicken. Famous Dave’s also offers with the menu a Skinny Margarita that contains only 101 calories.

The chain is promoting its lower-calorie items by offering a free 30-day pass and personal-training assessment at Snap Fitness to any guest who orders the Citrus Grill platters. The cards will be awarded at participating locations through the end of March. The company said the fitness package is valued at about $140.

“Our new Citrus Grill additions prove that our barbecue is not only good-tasting, it can also be good for you, with leaner cuts, a lighter new Honey Chipotle Lime Glaze, and delicious sides of grilled-pineapple steaks and naturally good broccoli,” said Aric Nissen, Famous Dave’s vice president of marketing and R&D.

Famous Dave’s latest menu line extension also includes a Loaded BBQ Chips appetizer, Dave’s Amazingly Boneless Wings, the True-Bleu Cheeseburger, Dave’s Turkey Burger, and two new sauces: Pineapple Rage and Wilbur’s Revenge.

Company officials said in a previous conference call with investors that they plan to open one new corporate Famous Dave’s location and 10 to 12 new franchised units in 2011.

The brand is offering franchise development incentives this year to bring about that goal, including royalty reductions from the standard 5 percent to 2.5 percent for the year to franchisees who open their units in the first quarter. The discounted rate rises to 3 percent for units opened in the second quarter and 4 percent for locations opened in the third quarter, and royalty rates will be the standard 5 percent for restaurants opened in the fourth quarter and beyond.

Minneapolis-based Famous Dave’s owns 52 namesake restaurants and franchises another 129 locations in 37 states.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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