Texas burger chain Mooyah targeting the midstate for growth
After making its Pennsylvania debut this week, a Texas-based fast-casual burger chain is keying in on the midstate as it looks to grow.
Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes expects to open 15 new restaurants this year and up to 20 next year, mostly in the Northeast. Founded in 2007, the chain has been active recently in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
On Wednesday the chain opened its first Pennsylvania location in Dickson City, Lackawanna County.
"Our plan would be to move west to southern Pennsylvania as we try to expand. Harrisburg, York and Lancaster are the next logical areas," said Jordan Duran, director of franchise sales.
Mooyah has 99 locations across the globe, including 79 in the U.S., spread across 19 states. The burger joint markets a "better burger" concept of made-to-order burgers served on potato and multigrain buns baked in-house daily, as well as hand-cut fries and ice cream shakes. It uses fresh, 100 percent certified Angus beef.
Duran said a franchise partner has been secured for the Philadelphia area, with a goal of leasing sites in Montgomery or Chester counties.
He believes Central Pennsylvania could handle at least three to five locations. Ideally, Mooyah hopes to have a regional franchisee in place to begin opening restaurants next year or in 2019.
The initial franchisee fee is $35,000, with additional locations reduced to $25,000. The all-in investment to open a restaurant can range from about $412,000 to $620,000, Duran said.
The chain targets shopping centers in suburban communities, ideally those with large anchors such as supermarkets. Mooyah restaurants range from about 1,800 square feet to 2,400 square feet.
"We're focused on building out the Northeast region," he said. "About one-third of our growth is in that region next year."