Ted Turner's plan to leverage his enormous herd of bison into a successful restaurant chain appears to be on track. Last February, we reported that Turner planned to have 35 to 40 Ted's Montana Grills by the end of 2004. At presstime, according to a spokesperson, there were 29 grills open in 10 states and 11 more leases were signed.
Dave Carter, head of the National Bison Association, says the industry "still faces the issue of getting people to take the first bite of the product," but that Ted's is taking off. The locations near Carter's suburban Denver home are packed, he reports. And the firm continues to generate good buzz with ease. In Atlanta, for example, the company partnered with a radio station on an Apprentice takeoff in which hundreds of people competed for a chance to manage a Ted's location.