With nine total restaurants—six of which are Fuzzy’s Taco Shops—and over 500 employees, The Social Order Dining Collective was founded with a mission to define the social guest experience all over Oklahoma.
“If you follow all the rules, you miss all the fun,” says The Social Order’s website. “We aim to create social environments for our guests, who like us, choose to make each outing a night to remember.”
So, how did it all start?
Co-founders Manny Leclercq and Brian Bogert met while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The pair had a few things clearly in common: They were both in their early 20s, had fewer fears than life experiences (read: not many), and both really wanted to open their own restaurant one day.
As they started to believe they just might be able to pull it off, “one day” came sooner than later. After all, Bogert was in finance and had a knack for entertaining, while Leclercq had focused his keen attention to detail on a career in advertising. It was a partnership made in heaven.
In 2002, the pals moved to Norman, Oklahoma—Bogert’s home state—to open their first concept as The Social Order: Texadelphia, an Austin-based fast casual joint specializing in cheesesteaks. “We did well enough to not completely fail, and had a great opportunity to learn,” said Leclercq. A few years later, they began the process of opening a second Texadelphia in Bricktown, the entertainment district of Oklahoma City.
During that time, the entrepreneurs met a new pal who had just signed on as a franchisee with a brand called Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. They learned that the franchise was looking for more operators in Oklahoma. Jackpot.
“As we were opening our second Texadelphia restaurant, we decided we also wanted to be a partner with Fuzzy’s while it was growing—so we signed on to open Fuzzy’s 20th unit,” said Leclercq.
In 2010, The Social Order opened their first Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Norman, Oklahoma. “Norman is a college town surrounding the University of Oklahoma, so we put a lot of emphasis on developing a patio and full-service bar that college kids would go for,” said Leclercq. “But then, we had more practice under our belts when it came to buildout and development. We found success, so we decided to continue opening more stores.”
The collective opened two more Fuzzy’s Taco Shop locations in 2012, including a Bricktown restaurant near Texadelphia. That store is consistently one of Fuzzy’s top-performing locations in the nation in terms of sales—not too shabby.
Six months later, The Social Order opened a location in Stillwater, the home of Oklahoma State University, applying the college-town techniques they’d learned to another college-town crowd, though with Fuzzy’s big frozen margaritas, they couldn’t really go wrong. A Fuzzy’s in Edmond followed a couple of years later, then a second Oklahoma City location, then one in Moore. In total, the Social Order currently owns six Fuzzy’s Taco Shops.
“People in Oklahoma have really responded to Fuzzy’s approachability, the fast casual nature, the high value for affordable prices and the fact that we offer alcohol,” said Leclercq. “People can get in and out in 30 minutes because we can crank out good food despite the volume. People will see a line out the door and still get in it.”
Of course, The Social Order is not planning on slowing their roll anytime soon. In 2017, the group opened its second original concept, The Jones Assembly, a scratch kitchen and 1,600-capacity live music haven, in an old Model T factory in Oklahoma City. The team also has another original concept, Spark, that’s currently in development.
And more Fuzzy’s Taco Shops are certainly on the horizon for the group. The Social Order is currently targeting Midwest City, just a few miles from downtown Oklahoma City, for its next Fuzzy’s venture. The store will be a new build located near the Tinker Air Force Base and is targeting a fall grand opening.
“Manny and the team in Oklahoma have an unparalleled focus on providing their guests the best experience possible when visiting their restaurants,” said Andie Smirl, Fuzzy’s Franchise Sales Manager. “Their enthusiasm and confidence with our brand is contagious throughout our franchise system.”
The Social Order’s Fuzzy’s Taco Shop website states: “We Get Jalapeño Business.” Considering the team’s nonstop growth, no one could argue with that.
For more information about joining the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop family as a franchisee, visit https://www.fuzzystacoshop.com/franchising/.