Moe's Southwest Grill

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Customers are constantly complaining about employees bickering with one another, serve times and incorrect orders are growing every day, and three of your best employees have quit in the last month. All of these problems have one thing in common: They can be the result of a staff that isn’t working together as an effective team.

“It’s not just how we serve the customer, but how we service each other. Customers really notice that,” says Bruce Schroder, executive vice president and COO at Jamba Juice.

Moe's Chooses Engauge as Media Agency of Record

Moe’s Southwest Grill, the restaurant franchise featuring fresh southwest fare, has selected Engauge, a full-service marketing agency for the digital and social age, as its media agency of record. The agency has already begun to work on the company’s national media planning and buying, and will also be responsible for media buying for the Philadelphia co-op, which is inclusive of eleven stores.

Moe's: The Face of Growth

Fifty-four units opened; 165 franchises sold; more than 350 development agreements in the pipeline. That’s just a glimpse into the picture of growth Moe’s Southwest Grill has been painting over the past year.

Growing at a rate of 20 percent each year—and opening a new unit every five to six days—the Southwestern fast casual is taking the limited-service industry by storm, sitting at No. 3 in Technomic’s list of top Mexican chains.

And with plans to open its 500th location in Q1 of 2013, Moe’s doesn’t see a slowdown in its path.

The Growth 40

Aside from all being west of the Mississippi River, Denver; Waco, Texas; and Yuma, Arizona, have seemingly little in common. One is a thriving cosmopolitan metro nestled on the rim of the Rocky Mountains; one sits in the shadow of much larger and more heralded Lone Star markets; and the other perches quietly on the nation's southern border.

Each has its own charm and character, but all share one distinction: high potential for quick-service restaurant growth, according to QSR’s third-annual Growth 40 report.

The Power of Mom

In the spirit of QSR’s Year of Women in Foodservice initiative, we’re dedicating a monthly section to recognizing the issues that affect women in foodservice and the contributions they make in our industry. If you know a woman with an inspiring story to share or an issue you think needs to be addressed, send your ideas to YearofWomen@qsrmagazine.com.

The number of U.S. households with kids under 18 is about 39 million—33 percent of the country—and moms run more than twice as many single-parent households as dads.

Moe's Goes to Costa Rica

Moe’s Southwest Grill, the fast-growing restaurant franchise best known for its flavorful Southwest fare and fun and engaging brand culture, has opened its doors for the first time in Costa Rica.

The restaurant, which began operations in Costa Rica on November 10, 2012, is located at the newly designed Plaza Tempo in Escazu, an influential suburb of the nearby capital, San Jose.

Franchise partner Roberto Ricciardi plans to open five additional Moe’s throughout Costa Rica in the next five years, with the next two already projected to debut in 2013.

Moe's Brings Back The Stack, Intros Two LTO Salsas

Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurants are bringing the Stack back as a permanent menu category.

The Stack is two crunchy corn tortillas wrapped inside a grilled flour tortilla, stuffed with seasoned beans, shredded cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and Moe’s Famous Queso. It can be ordered as the “Wrong Doug” with the customer’s choice of all-natural chicken, pork, or 100% sirloin steak, and “Julia Gulia”, a meatless vegetarian-friendly option.

The Stack was introduced in 2011 as a limited-time only item and its return is due, in part, to a consumer-generated social campaign.

Moe's Names Three Finalists in Salsa Contest

Moe's Southwest Grill has named the top three Facebook fans whose original salsa recipes have raised the bar this summer, during its first "Raise the Salsa Bar Contest." Tatia Williams of Ladson, South Carolina; Kate Elliott of Muncie, Indiana; and Cheryl Gallowitz of Gainsville, Florida have the chance to have their salsa recipe featured in more than 450 Moe's restaurants nationwide and take home a $1,000 cash prize. Moe's executives will determine the grand prize winner at the end of this month with semifinalists judged on ingredient selection, originality, and ease of preparation. 

The Sauce is the Boss

Quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants are meeting today’s demand for variety head-on, but they’re not just doing it with menu diversification. Some are providing customers with greater selections in the condiments they offer, allowing guests to customize their own meal with expansive condiment bars.

And it’s not just a rote selection they’re offering, either; these are top-notch products, since it seems traditional line-ups of mustard, mayo, ketchup, and ranch dressing simply don’t, well, cut the mustard anymore.

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