Franchisee Turned Franchisor Reinvents Mama Fu's

Pan-Asian Concept Sees Increase in Same-Store Sales, Attracting Multi-Unit Franchisees

March 08, 2010 // Franchising.com // AUSTIN, Texas – Business has been 'sizzling' at Mama Fu's since Murphy Adams Restaurant Group purchased the Pan-Asian concept from Raving Brands nearly two years ago. Complete with a new prototype, retooled menu and an innovative "flex-casual" service model, Mama Fu's is on the fast-track to renewed franchise growth.

With same-store sales increases of eight percent at its owned and operating restaurants, prospective franchisees are jumping at the opportunity to be a part of the burgeoning brand. Successfully operating thirteen locations throughout Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, Mama Fu's expansion plans call for an additional 130 restaurants in the next five years.

"We have reinvented Mama Fu's to put us in an extremely favorable position to dominate the Asian-inspired segment of the restaurant industry," said Randy Murphy, President and CEO of Mama Fu's. "Since acquiring the brand, we've infused the concept with enhanced infrastructure, support, leadership and capital to take it to the next level."

Mama Fu's, where Pan-Asian meets fast and fresh, offers consumers convenience, value and unique flavors with its high quality, made-to-order Asian-inspired food. With a contemporary and user-friendly menu that allows customers to navigate their options more easily, guests can choose between a rice dish or noodle bowl, as well as their protein of choice, from a selection of Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean menu options. More health-conscious customers can order a Steam Bowl or have their protein prepared wok-seared, a cooking method that reduces oils and starch.

When Murphy Restaurant Group acquired Mama Fu's in March 2008, Randy Murphy, the concept's largest multi-unit franchisee at the time, assembled a dream team of franchise executives and operators boasting more than 150 years of combined experience with such household brand names as Chili's Grill & Bar, Macaroni Grill, Pei Wei, TGI Friday's, Einstein Bagel, Johnny Carino's and Schlotzsky's, among others.

The new ownership introduced a new Mama Fu's prototype that reduced building costs by over 20 percent, streamlines the construction process and enables franchisees to better serve their customers. In addition, Mama Fu's retooled its food and beverage menu and implemented a unique "flex-casual" service model that includes a fast casual approach to lunch, with a transition to relaxed, full service at dinner.

"The flexible service model allows us to cater to customer service preferences for each day part, while increasing check averages, without raising prices or slowing table turns," Murphy added. "Mama Fu's offers something that, until now, was not available in the franchise marketplace – an Asian-inspired meal in a contemporary fast-casual setting for lunch and dinner."

To augment the company's growth, Mama Fu's is seeking multi-unit franchisees with previous experience in restaurant operations. With a franchise fee of $28,000 for multi-unit agreements, the overall investment to own and operate a Mama Fu's restaurant is $511,000 to $735,000 for new construction. This does not include tenant improvement allowance or other landlord credits.

Each Mama Fu's restaurant is typically 3,000 square feet, seats approximately 95 guests and employs 35-40 people.

ABOUT MAMA FU'S ASIAN HOUSE(R)

The Texas based Murphy Adams Restaurant Group purchased Mama Fu's Asian House from Raving Brands in March 2008. Mama Fu's specializes in freshly prepared Pan-Asian cuisine and offers a unique "flex casual" service model that includes a fast casual approach to lunch, with a transition to relaxed, full service at dinner. Combined with delivery, take-out, online ordering and catering, Mama Fu's is a convenient and delicious option for every dining occasion. The company currently has 13 units operating. For more information, contact (512) 949-3220 or visit www.mamafus.com.

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