Texas-based fast-casual franchise business MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is eyeing an expansion across the Greater Boston market.
MOOYAH, which has been growing at a rapid pace since its founding in 2007, recently signed leases in the Jamaica Plain and Northborough areas and is planning to open another 20 locations over the next five years. MOOYAH currently has stores in 21 states and nine overseas locations, including Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Firmitas Entrepreneurial Development is the sub-franchiser and owner of the franchise opportunity’s brand in New England. Its president, Jay Hummer, said he’s been in the franchising industry for more than 30 years, and his current mission is to convince entrepreneurs that developing a franchise is a solid way to diversify investment portfolios.
According to Hummer, New England tends to be the last in line for franchises. The challenge, Hummer said, isn’t attracting the brand to the area; it’s finding people who want to be franchisees. There are qualified people available, but they’re simply not looking at franchising as a solid investment opportunity.
Rich Hicks, then-acting CEO of the MOOYAH franchise business, spoke to the Dallas Business Journal last year about the brand’s growth plans. At that time, Hicks told the paper he wanted MOOYAH to have a total of 100 locations by the end of 2014. Hick told DBJ he knew that was a tall order, but the company is committed to the idea of controlled, profitable growth.
The average MOOYAH location is 1,800 to 2,000 square feet and has 50 to 90 seats. Development costs range from $400,000 to $500,000. The MOOYAH franchise opportunity requires that franchisees have a net worth of at least $500,000, with a minimum of $200,000 of this money liquid. The initial franchisee fee is $35,000, and absentee ownership isn’t allowed.
According to Hummer, Firmitas Entrepreneurial Development is currently scouting for locations in MetroWest and Boston proper. The brand has signed three intent letters, but Hummer wouldn’t specificy where at this time. According to Hummer, MOOYAH isn’t looking to be in every area. Instead, they are targeting markets that are currently underserved and not as saturated by competitor brands.
MOOYAH is part of the "better burger" industry segment, offering black bean veggie, turkey and beef burgers and 100 percent beef hot dogs alongside fries, salads and milkshakes. The chain also offers unique items, such as the "Iceburger," which is a patty wrapped with lettuce instead of the traditional bun. Started by Todd Istre and Rich Hicks in Texas in 2007, MOOYAH keeps it simple and aims to provide an affordable, quality fast-casual experience for its diners.
To find out more about MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, visit FranchiseExpo.com.