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How Qdoba’s 800-Unit Buying Power Fuels Modern Market’s Fresh Food Success

Under the same parent company as Qdoba, the emerging fast casual franchise Modern Market punches well above its weight in efficiency, cost savings and expansion capabilities.

Modern Market Eatery is a 30-plus-unit, fast-casual franchise with a secret weapon. Under the Modern Restaurant Concepts umbrella, which also owns 800-unit Qdoba Mexican Eats, Modern Market has the buying power and leverage of a franchise network 25 times its size. This has allowed the emerging brand to develop an innovative share purchasing and distribution strategy, setting a new standard in supply chain optimization.

Paul Sinowitz, chief supply chain officer at Qdoba, provides an in-depth look at how this collaborative effort has transformed the way Modern Market operates, bringing unprecedented efficiencies and cost savings to the table.

"My team runs the supply chain for Modern Market Restaurants, leveraging the same contract manager for both brands,” said Sinowitz. “This means we're not just leveraging Qdoba's volume and relationships but essentially operating with the clout of an 800-unit chain.”

This relationship has enabled Modern Market to tap into Qdoba's long-standing partnerships, sharing the benefits of its top-tier status with Tyson Foods, for example.

"When we approach our suppliers with the combined volume of Qdoba and Modern Market, we're able to secure pricing and support that would be unreachable for a standalone 30-unit operation,” said Sinowitz. “This is how we drive tremendous value for our franchisees and our customers.” 

Beyond negotiating power, the partnership has also refined logistical operations to significantly reduce costs. By realigning supply sources and managing its own freight, Modern Market has minimized shipping distances and streamlined distribution. 

"We've undertaken extensive reanalysis to ensure our supply chain is as efficient as possible, reducing freight costs and enhancing our management program to keep driving costs down," said Sinowitz.

The impact of these strategic moves is evident in the record-low food and labor costs Modern Market has achieved this past year. "Delivering the lowest costs in the brand's history without compromising on quality is a clear indicator of the strategy's success," Sinowitz said.

The benefits extend into the menu's design and ingredient quality, areas where Modern Market refuses to make compromises. According to Sinowitz, the cost savings have been achieved without any detriment to the brand's high-quality offerings. 

"This intersection of low costs and high quality is a significant win, making our unit-level economics far more attractive to potential and current franchisees," Sinowitz said.

This strategic collaboration has also opened new doors for Modern Market's expansion. Leveraging Qdoba's extensive distribution network, including 29 distribution centers, Modern Market is well-positioned to enter new markets with confidence. 

"With such a broad distribution network supporting us, we're not just ready but excited to explore new territories, fully aware that our supply chain is robust enough to support growth anywhere," Sinowitz said.

Modern Market’s supply chain optimization is part of a larger strategy to keep costs down for operators. From menu design to construction to operations, the Modern Market team has developed a distinctly cost-effective franchise model in the fast-casual restaurant space, ensuring operators can deliver fresh food at quick-service restaurant speeds and value. 

The estimated initial investment ranges between $928,500 and $1.5 million for a single Modern Market Eatery restaurant. The 18 company-owned Modern Market locations open for the fiscal year of 2023 saw an impressive AUV of $2.3 million.*

*More details are available in Modern Market Eatery’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

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