As the saying goes, “Virginia is for lovers.” And Texas-based better burger brand MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is finding that statement to ring true.
Ever since opening its first Virginia franchise in 2012, the brand’s unique business model has found success in markets like Newport News, Williamsburg and Hampton. There’s a real demand among consumers in the area for top quality burgers, and MOOYAH’s innovative menu is hard to beat. That’s why as MOOYAH gets closer to celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year, the brand is seeing expansion activity throughout the state.
“Virginia and Washington, D.C. are going to be major development markets for us in 2017. Our existing franchisees that are currently operating in the area are seeing tremendous success there, and we’re looking forward to replicating that in new communities,” said Jordan Duran, director of franchise sales for MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes. “With new units expected to open their doors for business and the reopening of our Williamsburg location in the coming months, we’re establishing strong momentum that we plan to use as fuel for the rest of the year.”
One of those franchisees is Alpen Patel, who owns the MOOYAH location in Hampton, Virginia. He says that since opening for business in June of 2014, the restaurant has continuously seen increased success. Now going on three years of ownership, the restaurant has been especially well received by families and members of the military.
“I've been increasing sales each year since we've opened. Each day and week is better than the last. I have tremendous support in the community. The word is getting out that we have the best burger in town. Everything is fresh from our buns to ingredients, and that has really resonated with the Hampton community,” Patel said.
The brand has become such a hit in Hampton that Patel said he’s actively looking to bring another MOOYAH restaurant to an area nearby. He’s currently looking at the possibility of expanding in the greater Virginia Beach community, where he believes that MOOYAH will be welcomed like it has been in Hampton. It’s clear that there’s a real need for a brand like MOOYAH in the area—even folks who don’t live specifically in Hampton are making the trek to his existing location.
“One of our best customers is a guy named Warren. He’s an 80-year-old man who lives 45 minutes away from our restaurant, but makes the drive to our MOOYAH in Hampton four times a week because he likes the burgers so much. His order is always the same—he sticks to his favorite burger and fries. Warren even told me that our eight dollar burger beats the best 20 dollar burger where he’s from,” Patel said. “That’s how you know that MOOYAH has tapped into something special. We’re bringing a great product and unrivaled experience to our guests.”
At the end of the day, Patel points to MOOYAH’s franchise model as one of the main reasons for his success. With an emphasis on service and making sure that all guests are treated like family, the brand’s restaurants bring a level of quality to the restaurant industry that’s otherwise missing. Patel—along with other franchisees—are dedicated to making sure that each guest feels like they’re at home every time they walk through MOOYAH’s doors.
MOOYAH is planning to bring that one of a kind experience to new communities across the Virginia and Washington, D.C. area. The brand has its sights set on launching 20 new restaurants this year, with plans to open its doors for business in key markets like Bethesda, Annapolis, Virginia Beach, Alexandria and Richmond. To make those development goals a reality, MOOYAH plans to continue working with passionate and dedicated franchisees. And given its affordable initial investment range that falls between $373,350 and $623,300, the brand makes it easy for entrepreneurs to adapt its simple business model.
“I don't think that any brand services their customers like we do. It really sets MOOYAH apart from the competition. If you leave with a smile on your face, you're going to come back for the experience,” Patel said.