In the news

Why MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes Is a Great Franchise for Wingstop Franchisees

MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, the fast-casual concept committed to serving the best tasting burgers, provides a business opportunity with similar operational practices, commodity diversification, solid profitability and open available territory for Wingstop Franchise Owners looking to expand their portfolios and grow.

“The restaurant industry is a connected community. We talk to guys who are Franchise Owners with other places, and they want to mitigate their risk. They have proven they can be effective operators in a similar system, and, let’s face it, chicken has been a ridiculously volatile protein,” explained Mike Sebazco, Executive Vice President of Operations and Development at MOOYAH. “We are a great business for people looking to grow by expanding their brand portfolio while staying in their local market.”

MOOYAH Is an Emerging Brand With Growth Opportunities

MOOYAH, though still expanding, has carved out a unique space within the strong fast-casual burger market. According to QSR, most Guests seek differentiation in their burger experience, and the majority — 85% — plan to visit burger restaurants the same amount if not more frequently in the future. And as America’s favorite food, burgers have extremely broad appeal.

The brand’s emphasis is on better quality ingredients, starting with 100% Natural Certified Angus Beef graded at Choice or Prime — that’s better quality than most steaks. To that they add fresh baked buns and toppings made from scratch in house. They also have a variety of other protein options, including turkey burgers and veggie burgers, as well as a “lifestyle menu” of healthy options that provides differentiation that many diners crave. Many Guests feel the hand-cut fries prepared in a 24-hour process from #1 Idaho potatoes are what makes them hands down the best burger place. Others say it is the hand-spun real ice cream shakes with premium toppings that put MOOYAH over the top. 

Best of all for new Franchise Owners, the brand is expanding, and as they move into new markets, territory near their existing operations with excellent locations is still available.

“The burger category is the biggest one there is,” Sebazco said. “With MOOYAH, you get in with a growing brand that still has prime locations available in great markets.”

Though MOOYAH is young, it has a high-powered leadership team with strong experience at top brands. While many smaller concepts have leadership teams without extensive growth experience, Anand GalaDoug WillmarthSarah BeddoeEd Andrews and Mike Sebazco have the experience and know how to create brands where Multi-Unit Franchise Owners can build a successful business. 

“We have been upgrading our systems and support team to set the stage for the explosive growth phase we began this year. It is an excellent ground-floor opportunity that reminds me of where Wingstop was a decade ago when I was the Chief Marketing Officer,” Doug Willmarth, President of MOOYAH, added.

The Beef and Chicken Concepts Are Complementary, Not Competitive

For owners of chicken, sandwich, or other non-burger concepts, opening a MOOYAH does not cannibalize their existing business but provides an additional business opportunity to diversify revenue and manage commodity risk. Further, because the operational profile and back office support are often quite similar, adding a MOOYAH restaurant can be a smooth process for existing fast-casual or QSR franchise owners.

“Wingstop really has a very similar business model. Both brands are fast-casual concepts and have similar layouts and real estate,” Willmarth explained. “They have a focus on a single protein and hand cut fries in much the same way we do. For the Franchise Owner, you have a similar operation to manage. And the teams have similar skill sets, so it is easier to manage across locations.”

In many cases, incorporating a MOOYAH business also provides profitability benefits beyond the operational synergy. For chicken concepts, especially wings and tenders focused brands, dramatic swings in profitability can happen as the price of chicken rises and falls. Since chickens are not raised specifically for wings, their supply and pricing tends to be even more volatile, complicating things further. While many restaurants used to sell wings for less than a dollar each, the “market price” for a 15-piece order has jumped to over $27 in some places, with an estimated real cost of about $34. This can be very hard on Franchise Owners who sell by the piece but have to buy chicken by the pound.

“Over the last few years, wing prices have gone through the roof, but beef prices have been much more stable,” Willmarth explained.

In addition to supply-chain benefits, MOOYAH’s internal processes simplify labor needs and decrease costs. “Our economic model is better,” Sebazco said. “It’s a simpler execution. We bake our own buns, which is both a quality proposition and less expensive. We reduce the prep process with a simpler labor model and require fewer people in the kitchen.”

Territories Are Available Near Existing Wingstop Locations

For existing Franchise Owners, opportunities to establish new locations within a familiar market can become increasingly rare as the brand grows. In many cases, markets are completely sold out, locking out owners who want to grow. 

“If you’re a Franchise Owner that has a successful organization in a specific area, you know the market, and that is an advantage. If you’ve got locations of one brand and you want to keep growing but the territory near you is sold out, the answer is to add a complementary brand,” Willmarth said.

Many Wingstop markets are largely maxed out with little to no space available for additional units. The good news is that the brand is in many markets where MOOYAH is just starting to grow. “There are a lot of Franchise Owners who are locked out of growth in the market they want, and we can help them with an opportunity to expand and diversify.”

The start-up costs for a MOOYAH franchise range from $477,918 to $989,793. Learn more at https://franchise.mooyah.com/.