Marc Verderame grew up in the restaurant business. The son of a New York City pizzeria chain owner, Verderame helped his father grow not only that independent chain but also a series of franchise investments, including multiple units with burger concept BurgerFi and Golden Corral, the buffet and grill restaurant.
Now, Verderame, still in partnership with his father, is embarking on his most ambitious restaurant development project yet, signing on to open 15 units with the best burger brand MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes throughout Palm Beach County, Florida, marking the fast-growing brand’s largest development deal to date.
Verderame got his start in franchising in 2002, when he and his father were looking for business opportunities that would allow them to relocate from New York to Florida.
“My father stopped into a Golden Corral one day, and he saw a strong business opportunity there,” Verderame said. “We were in the restaurant business already, and we saw some availability in Palm Beach, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to pursue.”
That initial investment with Golden Corral would eventually blossom into multi-unit ownership, and then, in 2012, multi-brand ownership, when the Verderames diversified their portfolio by opening their BurgerFi restaurant.
By 2021, the Verderames were franchise experts with nearly two decades of industry experience with multiple brands under their belts. So when they began looking for a new opportunity to expand their QSR empire, Verderame says they knew exactly what to look for.
“We were researching online and looking at a number of different brands in different segments, but burger brands are our strong suit, and we knew what a good burger brand looks like,” he said. “When we started looking into MOOYAH, it immediately grabbed our attention.”
Verderame and his father traveled to the nearest MOOYAH location in Orlando to try the restaurant out for themselves. That’s when Verderame says they were sure they had found something special.
“Everything looked and tasted so fresh, and the burgers were incredible,” he said. “And just as important, it was a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.”
Verderame reached out to the brand’s corporate team, who were eager to partner with operators so experienced in their segment.
“Marc and his father are a fantastic fit for MOOYAH, and we recognized that right away,” said Mike Sebazco, MOOYAH’s EVP of Operations and Development. “Our first priority in vetting franchise candidates is ensuring they have the same passion for quality in both service and product that we’ve built our name on, which they demonstrated quickly. But they also bring fantastic experience to the table, so we were able to look at their track record of success and feel fully confident that they have what it takes to be fantastic MOOYAH owners.”
Currently, Verderame is preparing to open the first of his planned 15 units with MOOYAH in Palm Beach in Q1 of 2022, and he says even that 15 may just be the beginning.
“I’m hoping we can grow to more than 15 in this county,” he said. “There are burger places in Palm Beach, but nothing like this. We’ve got a huge population that is in line with our target demographics, and we see major opportunities for growth. So far, the partnership with MOOYAH has been great, and I have no doubt we’re going to be very successful together.”
Learn more about franchising with MOOYAH at https://franchise.mooyah.com/.