Eggs Up Grill began in 1997 in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, when Chris Skodras opened the first restaurant. His goal was to provide a place where the local community could catch up with their family, friends and neighbors over a great meal. In the decade that followed, Skodras opened additional locations and then began franchising the concept in 2008. After growing to 24 locations in three states, private investment firm WJ partners acquired Eggs Up Grill in 2018, bringing on former TGI Fridays executive Ricky Richardson to lead the brand’s next phase of growth.
Under the guidance of Richardson, who brings more than 35 years of multi-unit and franchise operations experience, Eggs Up Grill is on track to have 42 restaurants open by the end of 2019. With strong AUVs and comp sales, it’s no wonder existing franchisees are reinvesting in the brand and accounting for 50 percent of 2019’s growth. It’s clear Eggs Up Grill is primed for growth with plans underway for the concept reach the 100-location mark by mid-2022.
“Oftentimes the restaurant business can be transactional, serving as a functional solution to hunger, but successful brands go beyond this to touch their guests emotionally,” said Richardson. “In a world where online ordering and delivery are taking over, many people still crave an authentic connection along with good food when they visit a restaurant. Eggs Up Grill is built to do just that—offering a great tasting, all-American menu and personally connecting with guests through warm, friendly service. From the simplicity of the menu, served sun-up to brunch through lunch; streamlined operations, to our defined guest positioning as the true neighborhood gathering place, this concept is on fire and we have plenty of room to grow.”
Eggs Up Grill’s growth strategy is multi-pronged: encouraging existing franchisees to continue investing in the brand; signing new, single-unit franchisees who are looking for a business to own and operate; and attracting multi-unit, multi-brand franchisees looking for the next brand to add to their portfolios.
Because of the simplicity of the business model and the enviable work/life balance that the restaurant’s 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. operating hours afford, Eggs Up Grill doesn’t require franchisees to have restaurant experience. In fact, sixty percent of the franchisees have diverse non-restaurant backgrounds including school teachers, insurance executives, pastors and more. And as proof of the personal connection Eggs Up Grill creates, many of the franchisees joined the brand based on their great experiences as guests
"I wanted a place where I wanted to be, with people that I wanted to be around, and doing a job that I was proud to have," said Scott Johnson, Eggs Up Grill Franchisee. "Eggs up Grill has allowed me the opportunity to run my own business, while still being able to attend my son's soccer games and be there for my family"
From a support standpoint, Eggs Up Grill works one-on-one with franchisees from the first point of inquiry to the restaurant’s opening—and throughout the life of the franchise. The brand team has a strong support program that encompasses franchisee and team member training, food safety controls, operational best practices, local and brand marketing, financial performance tools and much more. All of this is coordinated day to day through experienced, field-based Franchise Business Consultants and supported through the brand’s seasoned leadership team. Additionally, Eggs Up Grill has developed a robust service provider network across development, marketing and technology to improve franchisees’ results.
As further evidence of this commitment to success, Eggs Up Grill is opening a company-owned and operated restaurant in July 2019 that will also serve as the brand’s Training Center and innovation lab. The restaurant will feature a new prototype design aimed at enhancing the guest experience while testing concepts including a coffee bar and a grab-and-go counter to drive incremental sales results.
“This work is a big step toward the future for Eggs Up Grill. Guests will continue to see the evolution of the brand, like a contemporized restaurant design, bold new menu items, service training, and more, that will enhance the guest experience, grow topline sales and improve our franchisees’ business results,” said Richardson. “In our business, it is always the quality of the guest experience that matters most. We are also fully focused on investing in the right resources and business insight to support franchisees and help them grow top-line sales and profitability at the local level.”
Eggs Up Grill has opened four restaurants so far in 2019, in Holly Springs, North Carolina, and Boiling Springs, Powdersville and Greenville, South Carolina, with nine more locations opening during the balance of the year in Ladson, Charleston, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Simpsonville and Camden, South Carolina; Wilmington and Shallotte, North Carolina; and the first restaurant in Florida in Ocala.
In the last nine months, Eggs Up Grill has signed four new area development agreements to fuel growth, projecting 18 restaurant openings in 2020 followed by over 20 new locations in 2021. To continue its rapid growth, Eggs Up Grill is focused initially on concentric growth across the Southeast to tap into the brand recognition, operational efficiency and support. Richardson says he plans to leverage the brand's existing footprint in the Carolinas and Georgia while exploring expansion opportunities in key markets throughout the Atlantic and Southeast regions.
The investment for an Eggs Up Grill franchise ranges from $462,330 to $653,680, including a $39,000 initial franchise fee. For more information on available opportunities, please visit https://www.eggsupgrill.com/franchise.