As more burger enthusiasts flock to MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes (MOOYAH), word of the fast-casual, “better burger” brand’s reputation for serving up mouthwatering, build-your-own burgers continues to spread. To satisfy the cravings of Hampton, VA burger lovers, the brand opened its doors and fired up the grills on June 2, 2014. Spearheaded by existing MOOYAH franchisee, Alpen Patel, the restaurant is located at 36 Coliseum Crossing and is the second MOOYAH restaurant to open in the Old Dominion.
“After experiencing impressive success with my Williamsburg restaurant, I knew I wanted to bring the concept to the growing Hampton Roads metropolitan area and add to the new urbanism in the town,” said Patel. “Through this opening, I’m aiming to create a great spot for families to come together amidst our miles of waterfronts, beaches and historical sites.”
Patel chose to bring the brand to Hampton because of its proximity to Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center and the Virginia Air and Space Center. Additionally, by opening in Hampton, Patel hopes to increase MOOYAH’s brand recognition, as Hampton is located on the Hampton Roads Beltway which connects the Virginia Peninsula to the southeastern portion of the state.
At only 28, Patel has an extensive background in both banking and business. After graduating from college, Patel was recruited by Citibank as Assistant VP of Mortgages. He stayed on for two years before joining JPMorgan Chase & Co. as VP of Mortgage Sales in Irvine, Texas. In addition to his business skills, Patel is very familiar with franchising, as his family has owned a Subway restaurant for the past 13 years. Patel would help out with the family business throughout high school, and it was during that time that Patel made a promise to himself to fulfill his dream of one day owning his own business.
After leaving JP Morgan Chase & Co. in 2011 after five years with the company, Patel began casually searching for a new profession. Serendipitously, Patel and his friend visited a MOOYAH restaurant for lunch; wanting to try out the new neighborhood burger joint. While enjoying the veggie burger, the television projected that MOOYAH was currently franchising. Patel felt this was a lucky happenstance and pursued this internal encouragement all the way to business ownership. He purchased the Williamsburg, Virginia restaurant in March of 2011 and has since received system-wide recognition, including being voted MOOYAH of the Year through a crowd-sourcing social media contest in August 2013.
At MOOYAH, Guests start their made-to-order burger experience by choosing from freshly-baked white or whole wheat buns, or a low-carb, bun replacement of iceberg lettuce leaves called an Iceburger. Next, Guests have the option of never-frozen 100 percent American beef, Jennie-O turkey or the mouthwatering black bean veggie patty, all decorated with unlimited veggies and a choice of five cheeses and nine delectable sauces.
In addition, the sides and dessert are not to be forgotten. MOOYAH French fries are not an afterthought, but a crucial component of the whole MOOYAH experience. The daily-cut spuds are always cooked fresh, and transformed into the perfect French fries through a proprietary six-step, 24-hour process. Guests also have the option of the ever-popular Sweet Potato Fries. To offset the savory side of the menu, MOOYAH offers handcrafted shakes made with 100 percent real ice cream. Like their burgers, MOOYAH shakes can be customized with fun ice cream flavors and sweet toppings such as M&M’s®, cookie dough and peanut butter cups.
“The East Coast has a rich historical tradition and is one of the top development markets for MOOYAH, so we’re very pleased to be warmly accepted in Virginia and continue our entry into the market,” said Michael Mabry, Vice President of Operations and Franchise Development for MOOYAH. “Alpen’s plans with MOOYAH offer a significant opportunity to play an important role in the culture of Hampton residents, and we’re very excited to offer quality burgers, great ingredients and outstanding customer service to our growing fan base.”
MOOYAH has plans to continue its sustained expansion, and predicts the brand will add over 1,000 jobs to local communities through its restaurant openings in 2014. The burger franchise shows no signs of slowing down and aims to deliver a simple American classic that’s not only made well, but produced in a friendly and comfortable environment to new and fresh markets in the future.
For franchising opportunities, please visit http://www.mooyahfranchise.com.