Ten-year-old brand has renewed focus on growing with the right franchise partners
Ten years ago, MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes was founded in Dallas, Texas, and has since grown to nearly 100 locations in 19 states and 10 countries. In April 2017, the brand reached a new milestone: acquisition by the Balmoral Group and Gala Capital Partners, led by restaurant and franchise industry veteran Anand Gala. As one of the first steps following the acquisition, Gala, his team and the MOOYAH corporate team will lay out a strategic plan for the next five years with a focus on improving same store sales growth, AUVs and unit-level economics. MOOYAH’s recently updated franchise disclosure document shows improvements in all three areas.
“We are extremely excited about the new ownership and equity investment in our brand. We are gaining a lot of experience in the hospitality industry and in franchising with Anand as the new chairman and the financial backing of Balmoral Group,” said Jordan Duran, director of franchise sales at MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes. “What this shows to potential investors is that a private equity company that scrutinizes where they invest has fully vetted our company and determined that MOOYAH is a strong brand with a lot of growth opportunity. It speaks volumes to where our brand is and our potential for long-term growth.”
Gala, who has found success with a variety of restaurant franchises including Applebee's, Jack in The Box and Del Taco, now owns and operates the largest franchise group of Famous Dave’s of America and serves on the brand’s Board of Directors. While looking to expand his portfolio, Gala researched a variety of franchise brands before honing in on MOOYAH.
“After meeting [MOOYAH president and COO] Michael Mabry and the rest of the talented leadership team, I realized that MOOYAH is a brand on the verge of major growth,” said Gala. “Over the next five years, I expect the numbers in the FDD to continue to improve and for the brand to find talented, experienced franchise partners to grow the MOOYAH footprint both domestically and internationally.”
One area that the FDD shows improvement in is average unit volume (AUV)*. In the previous FDD, the AUV was $794,629** and in the new version, it is $873,375***, a nearly ten percent increase. Additionally, despite the rising costs in opening restaurants, MOOYAH was able to find savings to keep Item 7 in line with the previous FDD, with the new investment range of $412,750 to $620,000.
“Our cost-to-open numbers are extremely competitive in the market for people trying to start their own businesses by themselves, with their families or with investors looking to build out an entire market,” said Duran. “However, we’re not looking to partner with just anyone. We are committed to growing with the right franchise partners for the long term.”
When asked what makes MOOYAH stand out from other brands in the segment, Duran emphasizes three key points about the MOOYAH brand: the commitment to quality food, the affordable entry point and the depth and strength of support from the MOOYAH corporate team.
“Our commitment to quality food makes us stand out in the category,” said Duran. “We’ve always prided ourselves on never frozen beef, buns baked in-house and hand-cut fries. With fluctuating food costs and rising labor costs, other brands have chosen to downgrade quality, but in 2016, MOOYAH did a menu update that improved our beef quality to Certified Angus Beef® and added grilled and crispy chicken. Our menu is vast but very easy from an operational standpoint.”
The corporate team, which will remain in place following the acquisition, is another selling point for potential franchisees.
“We have a strong support team at the corporate office with a ton of experience in the restaurant industry,” said Duran. “Every single member of the corporate team is fully accessible to our franchise partners. Our work numbers are our cell phone numbers, so they can call any day, any time and we are available to support them. We are committed to helping our franchise partners succeed any way we can.”
Potential franchisees aren’t the only ones taking notice. MOOYAH was recently ranked #11 on Fast Casual’s Movers & Shakers list, up from #38 in 2016, and recognized on Franchise Times’ Fast & Serious list.
“Accolades like this add to our brand’s momentum,” said Duran. “With ten years of successful growth under our belt, we anticipate the next ten years to be even better.”
*AUV = Average Gross Sales shown in 2017 FDD
** AUV calculated from March 2015 - March 2016. 2017: At the end of the 1st quarter of our current fiscal year (April 2, 2017), there were a total of 71 Restaurants in operation in the United States, and 68 of them were owned and operated by third-party franchisees. Of the 68 franchised Restaurants, four (4) operated in non-traditional locations, and 10 had not operated for the full 52-week period prior to that date. The number reflects the results for the remaining 54 Restaurants that: (1) were owned and operated in the United States by third-party franchisees, (2) were in operation as of April 2, 2017, the end of our 1st quarter of 2017, (3) had operated for the full 52 weeks prior to that date, and (4) were operated in standard locations and not in non-traditional venues. MOOYAH Franchising, LLC – 2017 FDD – Item 19 (page 35). . To calculate the Average Gross Sales, we added the Gross Sales reported by all 54 qualifying franchised Restaurants for the 52-week period April 4, 2016 to April 2, 2017, then divided the sum by 54.
*** AUV calculated from April 2016 - April 2017. 2016: As of March 6, 2016 (the end of our 2nd accounting period for 2016), there were 77 MOOYAH Restaurants operating in the United States. For purposes of the financial information shown below, we have disregarded 24 restaurants: (a) 4 that are owned and operated by our affiliates, (b) 5 that are located in non-traditional venues, and (c) 15 that did not operate for the full 52-week period from March 5, 2015 through March 6, 2016 (the “Measurement Period”). The results shown below are based on the performance during the Measurement Period of the remaining 53 restaurants, all of which are owned by third-party franchisees. To calculate the Trailing 52-Week AUV for each grouping,we added the Gross Sales during the entire Measurement Period for all restaurants in the group then divided the total by the number of restaurants in the group. To calculate the Weekly AUV for each group, we divided the Trailing 52-Week AUV for the group by the number of restaurants in the group, then divided that number by 52.