Dallas-based Better Burger Brand Continues Growth Strategy in College Towns on Heels of New Agreement with Sodexo and New Openings Set for 2017 School Year
By Brian Jaeger
Students across the country are returning to the classroom and as college gets back into full swing, MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, the growing better burger franchise based in Dallas, is finding even more opportunity for growth in college towns.
The company is set to open a brand new location on the campus of Dallas Baptist University. The DBU location is the result of a new master license agreement with Sodexo, a leading provider of sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations.
“Sodexo is a proven leader and a valuable partner as we continue to look for opportunities to bring MOOYAH to more markets across the country,” said Jordan Duran, Director of Franchise Sales for MOOYAH. “MOOYAH’s model and menu fit perfectly within a university environment and we see tremendous potential for prospective franchisees to bring the brand to additional college communities.”
Under the master license agreement, Sodexo has the right to further develop MOOYAH within their system on colleges and universities across the U.S.
“Sodexo is constantly looking to partner with emerging restaurant concepts to offer students, faculty and staff at our universities and colleges the very best and MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes fits into that category,” said Jim Fjelstul, Senior Vice President, Sodexo Universities East, North America. “We believe that MOOYAH’s built-in awareness in their home market of Dallas will lead to success at Dallas Baptist University.”
At the same time, MOOYAH continues to open new restaurants under their agreement with Aramark. A new restaurant at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington just opened in mid-August ahead of the new school year. This is the fifth Aramark location for MOOYAH.
Recently, MOOYAH celebrated their 10th anniversary – that coming on the heels of the announcement that the brand was acquired by the Balmoral Group and Gala Capital Partners. With nearly 100 locations in 19 states and 8 countries, MOOYAH is focused on increasing their presence in cities with a significant college presence. The brand has seen success with franchise-owned locations right near colleges such as their Mansfield, Connecticut, location near the University of Connecticut campus and in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, located right on the strip near the University of Alabama. Huskies and members of the Crimson Tide family have embraced the brand’s variety and flavor, as well as the fun atmosphere.
With school back in session, that means a bump in business at MOOYAH locations near colleges.
For example, at the MOOYAH near University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, the company saw an increase in sales of 54 percent the week school started compared to the average of the previous six weeks. That’s mirrored by the sales success at UCONN where the company saw a 99 percent increase for the week school starts in comparison to the previous six weeks.
“We wanted to create a piece of home for people of all ages. I think that’s part of what has led to success in the Madison location. It’s a place students can come with their families, people of all ages and feel welcome,” said Randy Bergeson, the franchisee who owns and operates the UW-Madison MOOYAH location with his sons.
Chuck Kerr is a franchisee who has won both the Operator of the Year and Highest Sales awards at MOOYAH’s annual conference. Kerr has found success in Louisiana and in 2017, he’s opening a new location right near the Louisiana State University campus – and is already anticipating hordes of hungry Tigers.
“Oh man, I think it’s going to be so awesome when school starts,” said Kerr. “We are by LSU, but also backed up to a residential area. We want an environment where everyone is comfortable. The way we are designed, you will be able to line up for pre-made grab bags (1/4 lb. burger and fries). You will be able to grab your burger, or ten for a tailgate, and not worry about being late for the game. We can also sell outside in the parking lot or down Lee Drive. We can’t wait to be the face of the MOOYAH brand on such a big campus with so many people coming to town each week for the games.”
The recent signing of a master license agreement with Sodexo and continued partnership with Aramark, as well as the work with franchisees opening in and around college campuses, represents a continuation of the company’s commitment to this growth strategy.
“The MOOYAH experience is one that translates very well to college towns, whether on campus or near the university,” said Duran. “As we continue to grow we believe there is tremendous opportunity for new and existing franchisees to bring the brand to even more college towns across the U.S.”