June 18, 2012 // Franchising.com // DALLAS - Leadership at MOOYAH, a 30-unit, fast-casual, "better burger," fries and shakes concept, has mapped an aggressive growth plan for 2012 that includes 20 new units.
Founded in Dallas in 2007, MOOYAH set out to deliver a simple American favorite not only made well, but in a friendly, service-oriented setting.
“Fast casual burgers—often people call it the ‘better burger’ segment—represents only about 3 percent of sales in the burger category overall, so we’ve got a long road ahead to seize the opportunity and gain market share,” said Alan Hixon, president of MOOYAH Burgers, Fries, & Shakes. “The demand for the segment is just at its beginning stages, even with the number of similar competitors out there. We envision this concept as working anywhere, coast to coast.”
In preparation for increasing unit count by 60 percent this year, MOOYAH worked to refine its systems by examining its whole concept and focusing on “only what’s truly important to our brand.” That included scrutinizing everything from food distributor relationships to restaurant décor, as well as conducting extensive consumer research that revealed whether guests’ needs matched what the concept delivered.
“We’re in a constant state of improvement,” Hixon said. “We looked at every piece of the brand from food products to advertising, and put them through the filter of whether it fit MOOYAH.”
Hixon said much of what the exercise taught them was the brand is as much about selling burgers, as it is about selling an experience. As a result, the interior is now updated with multiple flat-screen TVs, change in music and dining rooms have new booth, stool and communal seating arrangements.
Just as important, the company bolstered its management infrastructure by adding a Director of Marketing, Director of Training, a Purchasing Comptroller and additional Franchise Business Consultants.
“It’s our belief that we’re poised for success based on the quality of the people we have in every part of the business,” said Michael Mabry, Director of Franchise for MOOYAH. “As a company, our culture must be dedicated to the belief that our Franchisee is our customer, and that if we take care of the Franchisee, he’ll take care of the store management teams. And when that happens, they’ll take care of our hourly employees—who are truly our most important people in the mix. Guests don’t know me or even management, but they do know the name of the person at the counter who represents the MOOYAH brand.”
MOOYAH Franchisees are provided with cutting-edge technology and interactive management training, as well as a support team in place to assist with marketing and promotions, operations and systems, and real estate selection. MOOYAH executives expect an aggressive expansion in 2012, and points to markets within Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Virginia as ripe for expansion.
“We believe this concept can work just about anywhere, but we’re very selective about the types of Franchisees we welcome into our system,” Mabry said. “We’re growing carefully and wisely, and want to attract quality people, who live life with engaging, friendly personalities to match the MOOYAH culture.”
MOOYAH is a fast-casual, “better burger” concept serving fresh-cut fries, hot dogs, vegetarian options and rich, thick shakes. Founded in 2007 in Dallas, it uses only fresh, American lean beef, buns baked in house, real cheeses and toppings made from garden-fresh ingredients. MOOYAH ranked in the top ten of FastCasual.com’s annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list for several years in a row, and BurgerBusiness included MOOYAH in its list of “11 Burger Chains to Watch in 2011.” For more information on the brand, its menu or franchising opportunities, please visit www.mooyah.com. Follow MOOYAH on Twitter @MooyahBurger and connect with MOOYAH on Facebook at the MOOYAH Burgers & Fries Fan page.
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