Better Burger Franchise to Expand Established Presence in Virginia and Florida with 6 New Restaurants, Continues Expansion with Existing Operators
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a fast casual, “better burger” franchise company, enters the second quarter of 2018 poised for continued expansion behind recently signed multi-unit franchise development deals in both Southern Virginia and Orlando, Florida. The company recently signed a three-unit deal with Bakfield, LLC., a group of three entrepreneurs and friends based in Lake Mary, Florida, and a three-unit deal with Keval Shah and Sanjay Patel, community-focused owners of multiple businesses in the area including a Cold Stone Creamery in Norfolk, Virginia.
“Virginia and Florida are key development markets where we believe the MOOYAH brand can grow and thrive so we are excited about the opportunity to bring our family-friendly and service-oriented approach to these new markets within those states,” said Jordan Duran, Director of Franchise Sales for MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes. “Both the Bakfield group and Keval and Sanjay embody the type of franchisees we have found success with in that they understand the value of a quality product and realize that unmatched hospitality plays a vital role in building a successful restaurant business. We look forward to providing them support through the process of opening their first MOOYAH locations.”
Bakfield, LLC. is comprised of Raj Bakshi, Keith Fields, and Kevin Hipes. The three friends and business partners plan to open their first location next to a successful Chick-fil-A location in the food court of the renovated Oviedo Mall this summer. New ownership of the Oviedo Mall is investing in additional renovations, including new retail, restaurant, educational and entertainment venues. After Oviedo, the group will then explore real estate options for their next two MOOYAH restaurant locations throughout the greater Orlando area.
“We were all interested in finding a franchise concept that fit our interests, backgrounds and could benefit this community we’ve all lived in for most of our lives. We found MOOYAH while searching the internet for opportunities and were immediately drawn to the brand,” said Hipes. “We tried the product and really liked the quality. I have a lot of friends in Texas who were familiar with MOOYAH and the Orlando area is a very similar market to Dallas where the brand is based. We saw this as an opportunity to get in with the brand early.”
The Oviedo Mall opening will be the second for MOOYAH in the state of Florida. The company currently has a location in the Country Walk Plaza area of Miami.
In Virginia, new franchisees Keval Shah and Sanjay Patel are actively looking at real estate options across Southern Virginia for their first of three locations, focusing on the Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Chesapeake and Norfolk areas. The duo was introduced to the concept by an existing MOOYAH franchisee in the area.
“I’d go to the MOOYAH in Hampton for lunch and they have a really good burger but there are also several vegetarians and health nuts in my family so it was nice that MOOYAH had various options for them too,” said Shah. “The product is just so awesome that we think it will really do well in the southern part of the state. We met with the corporate team, enjoyed our conversation in which they exposed us to what MOOYAH was all about, and we are excited to join the system.”
Shah and Patel will be adding to the strong presence MOOYAH has established in Southeastern Virginia where the brand currently operates three locations in Hampton, Newport News and Williamsburg.
In addition to these two recent deals in Florida and Virginia, the brand continues to expand with existing franchisees. In March, MOOYAH franchisee Barry Lattuca signed to open a location in Sudbury, Massachusetts. This comes on the heels of opening a MOOYAH location on the Boston Common in December.
MOOYAH Development Agent Jay Hummer, who worked on both Massachusetts deals, expects the Sudbury location to open sometime in July.
“We have an incredible location in Sudbury at the new Meadow Walk development, anchored by a brand new Whole Foods,” said Hummer. “Reception has been amazing so far at our other Massachusetts locations and we expect to see similar success when we open in Sudbury this summer.”
MOOYAH is focused on strategic growth with qualified franchise operators who buy-in to the brand’s commitment to its unique Texas hospitality and bringing Texas-sized flavor directly to Guests. The fast-casual better burger segment is a $72 billion category and according to the USDA, Americans are expected to eat more than 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry per capita in 2018, up from the former record of 221.9 pounds per capita set in 2004. At MOOYAH, Guests can enjoy never-frozen, 100 percent Certified Angus Beef® brand burgers and hand-cut fries that come together in a six-step process, as well as 100% real ice cream shakes, allowing Guests to choose from 10 flavors ranging from vanilla to Hershey's chocolate to Reese's to Oreo and more.
Total investment to open a MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes restaurant ranges from $397,750 to $559,400, including a $35,000 franchise fee. Area development agreements are available in several markets across the U.S. for investors interested in opening at least three MOOYAH locations.
During the first quarter of 2018, the MOOYAH corporate team moved into a new office space to better accommodate the growing team and franchise network. The company also launched its first national TV commercial campaign in the brand’s history. In 2017, the MOOYAH brand celebrated its 10-year anniversary and was acquired by an affiliate of Balmoral Funds LLC, a leading lower-middle-market private equity firm, and Gala Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment company with a focus on hospitality and food service franchises in the United States. The acquisition has injected capital into the brand to invest in areas like operational support, marketing, technology, research and analytics, while also bringing decades of restaurant industry experience to the brand. Since then, MOOYAH has added a new vice president, two new directors, and additional team members in marketing, finance, and training. The brand closed out the year with the opening of its 32nd location within its home state of Texas. In 2017, the company was also named to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list, Franchise Times' Fast & Serious list of the smartest growing franchise brands, and was ranked #11 on Fast Casual Magazine’s annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers, a list the brand has been included on every year in the last ten years of rankings.
For franchising opportunities, please visit http://www.mooyahfranchise.com/ .