Five years ago, the first MOOYAH opened in Plano to a crowd of guests waiting to file in from a rare late spring snow. The brand’s first franchisee, Barry Newberg, wasn’t sure what to expect from the fledgling business, but he had faith in the quality burgers, fries, and shakes MOOYAH made.
Newberg already worked with co-founder Rich Hicks at Tin Star, a nationwide burrito and taco biz. MOOYAH was a young concept on a chalkboard then, but today the idea has grown into a national brand with 28 restaurants in four states and 17 new locations opening soon in six more.
Newberg’s business grew along with the brand as a whole. He’s consistently been among the top five performers and beat his year over year numbers almost every year. He’s also signed a contract to open a second new Plano location this May.
“We franchised backwards on MOOYAH, starting with a franchise and then building the first restaurant,” Newberg says of the risk he took on the burger business. “It was a relationship based agreement that developed into a full corporate infrastructure, and we’re thrilled with the success of it.”
Better burgers, flawless fries, and unforgettable shakes are at the core of what makes MOOYAH unique, but community involvement and epitomizing the company’s “Hometown, Home Team” culture is at the heart of what makes MOOYAH tick. Newberg started his first snowy day of business with free burgers for the community, and the community is still at the center of his philosophy.
“From day one, I decided to skip mailers, coupons, and ads and focus on community activity instead. I’d rather get to know folks in person, than send out a mailer that goes to who knows who. I’m right here on the grill every day, and I’m on a first name basis with a lot of our guests,” says Newberg.
Newberg put his money where his mouth is, estimating that his restaurant donated about $40,000 to local schools and charities since opening.
The restaurant hosts fundraising nights for schools, churches, and charities two to three times a week, a valuable proposition for organizations that have experienced activity budget cuts. For schools, the fundraiser becomes both an activity and a way to generate extra dollars.
Newberg also heats up the grill to cook for high school sports concessions games, even staying open late on game nights so families can grab a bite.
“A lot can change in five years. I’ve raised two young daughters and shared a little bit of my life each week with our regulars. It means a lot to know them and have them know me, to watch their kids go off to college, graduate, all of it. That part of the business, those relationships, is a big part of why I do this. When it’s yours, every napkin, every bite matters,” says Newberg.
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries, & Shakes is an emerging leader of the “better-burger” fast casual segment.
The family friendly menu features made-to-order hamburgers using 100-percent fresh American beef; freshly baked buns, hand-cut French fries made from high quality Idaho potatoes, and handcrafted 100-percent ice cream shakes.
Ranked #1 in Fast Casual’s “2009 Top 100 Movers and Shakers,” MOOYAH, the popular Frisco, Texas based company, offers online and text message ordering, and a cookout trailer for corporate, social and fundraising events.
MOOYAH began franchising in 2007. More information is available at www.mooyah.com.