October 24, 2011 // Franchising.com // Williamsburg, VA – Brothers Gurpreet “P2” Sandhu and Gurbhagat “Gulu” Sandhu are two smart cookies. For one thing, Gulu has his PhD in Chemical Engineering and P2 studied finance and real estate at Virginia Commonwealth University. For another, they’re working together to open Virginia’s first MOOYAH, a fast-growing franchise that’s putting the “better” back into burgers.
The brothers are development agents and franchisees for the blossoming chain, and their first location is well chosen. Tucked in the first floor of William & Mary University’s brand new Tribe Square residential building, Virginia’s first MOOYAH is slated to open in January 2012.
“Students currently have limited dining options on and close to campus, so we feel this is going to make a big impact,” says P2. The restaurant is one of four that will be on the first floor of the building, which just opened this fall.
“We stand by the MOOYAH brand, a family-friendly restaurant in an approachable atmosphere serving a high-quality, fresh product,” says P2.
MOOYAH, known as a fast casual option with a casual dining experience, is famous for its high quality burgers, fresh buns, hand-cut fries and hand-spun milkshakes. Burgers are made from fresh, never-frozen, 100 percent lean American beef that doesn’t include additives, fillers or preservatives.
The brand broke into the franchising scene of the better burger segment with a bang in 2007 and almost immediately began to see noticeable growth. Twenty-three locations are currently open in the brand’s home state of Texas with additional locations in Connecticut, California and Tennessee.
The Sandhu’s new William and Mary location is Virginia’s first, but it won’t be the state’s only one for long. A second location is slated to open in spring of 2012 in Short Pump with more to follow. Since the brothers are Richmond natives and current residents, they’re eagerly exploring the Richmond area for opportunities.
“We’ve had franchises with Subwayïƒ’, KFCïƒ’, and Taco Bellïƒ’ for years, and we’ve been looking for fresh growth opportunities for some time,” says P2. “MOOYAH is the perfect fit for us. We visited Dallas and were ‘sold’ on the concept the minute we stepped into the flagship Frisco location. The Guest experience that MOOYAH provides is amazing, and we look forward to introducing this brand to Virginia and making it number one in the category.”
The “wow” factor the Sandhu brothers experienced is part of what keeps attracting new Guests and franchisees to the brand.
Every bun is freshly baked on site, and each burger includes a choice of sauces, fresh veggies, and four kinds of cheese.
Health conscious Guests love the “Iceburger,” a patty wrapped in iceburg lettuce. The Veggie burger and turkey burgers are favorites for those looking for an alternative. Fries are made from potatoes that are hand-cut in house and flawlessly fried in trans-fat free oil. Milkshakes are hand-spun from pure Dreyer’s ice cream with flavors like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or Oreo.
MOOYAH has ranked in the top ten of FastCasual.com’s annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list for several years in a row. BurgerBusiness, an online news site dedicated exclusively to the burger biz, also included MOOYAH in its list of “11 Burger Chains to Watch in 2011.”
Nation’s Restaurant News also named Alan Hixon, the chain’s president who initiated the restaurant’s growth from local cult classic to a national player in the better burger space, as one of its “10 Restaurant Execs to Watch in 2011.”
“Our goal is to provide each guest with the best burger and fry experience ever and have fun doing it,” says Hixon. "We want everyone to enjoy their burger, their way in a fun, upbeat environment".
“We’re looking forward to bringing MOOYAH to our home state and becoming more involved in the communities where we open new restaurants,” says P2. “MOOYAH is a family brand and strives to be an integral partner in the community. We know that MOOYAH is going to fit perfectly in Virginia.”
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries, & Shakes is an emerging leader of the “better-burger” fast casual segment.
The family friendly menu features made-to-order hamburgers using 100-percent fresh American beef; freshly baked buns, hand-cut French fries made from high quality Idaho potatoes, and handcrafted 100-percent ice cream shakes.
Ranked #1 in Fast Casual’s “2009Top 100 Movers and Shakers,” MOOYAH, the popular Frisco, Texas based company, offers online and text message ordering, and a cookout trailer for corporate, social and fundraising events.
MOOYAH began franchising in 2007. More information is available at www.mooyah.com. Follow MOOYAH on Twitter @MooyahBurger and connect with MOOYAH on Facebook at the MOOYAH Burgers & Fries Fan page.