Industry News | March 26, 2013

Moe's Takes on Vegas with 8-Unit Deal

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Moe’s Southwest Grill announced the signing of a multiunit development deal that will bring eight Moe’s restaurants to Las Vegas within the next five years.

Native Las Vegas residents and long-time friends Joseph Ruggeroli and Mike Kelesis will open the restaurants, with the first location slated to open later this year.

Ruggeroli and Kelesis have been friends since they were teenagers and roomed together in college at Arizona State University.

Ruggeroli has a diverse professional background, having worked in residential real estate, the casino gaming business, and the restaurant industry. Kelesis is a day trader and previously worked in commercial real estate.

For the past year and a half, the duo wanted to get into business together, but didn’t feel comfortable investing in any of the restaurant concepts they had come across—until they stepped foot into a Moe’s.

“We can’t wait to introduce Las Vegas to Moe’s and serve residents of the local community a healthful, fresh, and delicious meal in an engaging, fun atmosphere,” Ruggeroli says. “Our goal is for Moe’s to become an integral part of the community by creating jobs and career opportunities for local residents and partnering with local charitable organizations through fundraising efforts.”

As of March 2013, Moe’s has signed nine multiunit franchise agreements, which when fully developed, represent a total of 33 additional restaurants.

This year, plans call for 65 franchise locations to open across the country.

This will be Moe’s first freestanding location in Nevada. The franchise currently has one restaurant inside McCarran International Airport.

“We’re extremely excited about this deal because it proves the demand for our brand in the western part of the country,” says Moe’s president Paul Damico. “We continue to attract high-caliber franchise partners like Joseph Ruggeroli and Mike Kelesis, who are looking for a fun, quality investment.”

Moe’s Southwest Grill serves fresh, made-to-order burritos and Southwest fare in a fun and laid-back environment.

“Welcome to Moe’s!” is more than a greeting; it’s a way of life for the folks who customize each meal fresh-to-order right in front of the guest.

All meals, including signature items like the Homewrecker burrito, Close Talker salad, and John Coctostan quesadilla, are served with free chips and salsa.

While Moe’s is best known for its burritos packed with a choice of more than 20 ingredients, the menu also features kids’, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.