Andrew Candelino always knew he wanted to be a part of a franchise. He also always knew that he wanted to get into the business with his father.
When Andrew graduated from the University of West Virginia, he and his dad started looking into different franchise restaurant opportunities. Jerry, Andrew’s father, first learned about MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes while building a kitchen for Anthony D’Amore, owner of New Jersey’s first MOOYAH in Garwood. Everything fell into place after meeting Anthony and learning about the brand. Shortly after, Andrew took a job working as a manager at the MOOYAH in Garwood. After learning the business hands-on, Andrew knew the great opportunity they had found in MOOYAH, and the Candelinos were ready to take the leap together and join the MOOYAH family. Today, the father and son team operate a location in Central New Jersey.
“For as long as I can remember, it was always a dream in the back of my head to run a business alongside my dad. When we both found a concept that we both felt passionate about, that dream finally came to fruition,” Andrew said. “With MOOYAH, the timing and mutual commitment to the concept finally aligned.”
Both Jerry and Andrew believe that getting into business with your family adds a natural, extra edge that other partners simply can’t find as easily—and that’s an unwavering trust that they’ll always have each other’s backs.
“Unquestioned loyalty is a great fix for the tough spots that will inevitably arise in business. I know my son will always have my best interests at heart,” Jerry said. “At the same time, I’ll always be in my son’s corner—it’s just what dads do. That trust—combined with a concept that the two of us deeply believe in—has created a really strong foundation.”
But Jerry believes that one of the best thing about working with his son has been recognizing how accomplished and smart he is—and that has created an amount of pride that he could never put a price on.
“We’ve developed a working relationship that is all business, working as equals, with the added level of respect that only a father and son can enjoy,” Jerry added. “It’s incredible watching my son grow as our business grows. I've learned a lot from him, too.”
Jeff Kullman and his son, Jason, share a similar story. In 2009, after the economic downturn, he decided to leave behind his 27-year-old career in real estate to explore a new business venture with his son. When Jason read an article in Nation’s Restaurant News about MOOYAH, he brought it to his father’s attention.
“From a business perspective, I liked the idea of a fast-casual burger concept and noticed it was very similar to what I had worked on in homebuilding. Looking at everything they had to offer, it was a simple model that held a lot of value. We felt the efficiency of the operation couldn’t be beat in the industry. We were also very impressed by their exceptional customer service and frankly, the product is delicious,” Jeff said.
Today, the Kullmans are a successful multi-unit franchisee family team, and they own five MOOYAH locations throughout Texas. Growing a brand that he strongly believes in has become a major driving force in just about everything that Jeff does—but having the privilege to do so alongside family makes that experience that much more rewarding.
“Choose to be a part of a business that you can truly believe in. Keep your family at your top priority. If you do those two very important things, the rest takes care of itself,” Jeff said. “I’m lucky to have both of those things in my life.”