To say that Anthony D’Amore was destined for the franchise industry would be an understatement. His parents began a Dunkin Donuts franchisee career in 1968 in Kennelworth, New Jersey. Both Anthony and his cousin Tommy (now his partner in MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes) worked for the D’Amore parents and became Dunkin Donuts franchisees themselves.
Though D’Amore still felt thrilled and challenged by his Dunkin Donuts fleet, he began craving a new challenge about six years ago. After meeting MOOYAH representatives at a restaurant and finance show in Las Vegas, his interest was piqued.
“I saw the concept and immediately loved it,” D’Amore said. “But before becoming a part of their system, I wanted to see if the concept had legs and was moving forward. I told them to call me when they hit 50 units, and they did.”
By the time D’Amore received that call, his interest in the better burger fast-casual concept hadn’t waned. He had taken many of his family members to the Americana-inflected restaurant in the meantime, all of them becoming as enchanted with the concept as D’Amore.
“We saw that there was going to be a bright future with the brand,” D’Amore said. “It’s the right mix of size, location and concept.”
With the timing right and the finances in line, D’Amore and his cousin Tommy—with whom he has worked with since they were teenagers—became business partners as MOOYAH franchisees. The duo immediately began planning a massive expansion of the brand with a fine-tuned business model, industry know-how and, most importantly, confidence in their products.
“You have to have faith in your product; that’s where your success starts,” D’Amore said.
D’Amore is especially enthusiastic about MOOYAH’s more progressive menu items—gluten-free options, turkey burgers and sweet potato fries, all placed at accessible price points. MOOYAH may look like a classic burger joint, but at its core, it is a forward-thinking brand innovating classic American fare.
“We do everything fresh on site, whereas at other restaurants it’s questionable,” D’Amore said. “We’re a little ahead of the game and are proud of the quality of our food.”
D’Amore takes the old adage “go big or go home” to heart, especially when it comes to his businesses. Never considering a single unit as a viable franchisee model, D’Amore is eager to expand MOOYAH all throughout the East Coast. Currently, he has five franchises under construction and will be opening at the end of the month and is ready to tackle any hurdles along the way.
“I love businesses and I love challenges,” D’Amore said. “Being a franchisee has always satisfied that.”
With this expansion on the cusp of completion, D’Amore is making plans for maintaining high standards of quality and service. With MOOYAH’s corporate team just a call away, he has all the support he could ask for, not that he needs it. D’Amore is a veteran of the industry with no shortage of knowledge and insight.
“You can’t look at yesterday; you gotta look at tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve never closed a door of any business or anything I’ve ever done. I always found a way. When you put in the time you get the results.”