Moe’s Southwest Grill has a new brand positioning and prototype to reflect the reenergized direction.

The FOCUS Brands chain will debut a test kitchen and fresh model, The Oasis, on November 16 near its headquarters in Atlanta. The prototype will feature an update design and menu items currently in testing. Those products will begin to rollout systemwide starting next year, the company said.

Bruce Schroder, Moe’s president, said the chain spent the past 18 months looking at the brand and listening to guests. The updated design and expanded menu deliver on Moe’s new direction—“Untamed Southwest.”

READ MORE: Moe’s wants to be the friendliest brand in America.

“By fully activating our middle name and putting our own distinctive spin on the meaning of Southwest, our goal is to maintain cultural relevance and truly set ourselves apart in the fast casual restaurant industry,” he said in a statement.

“The ‘Untamed Southwest’ positioning will continue to highlight our free-spirited attitude and our family-friendly environment; plus, we will continue to serve the menu staples that made us famous like burritos, bowls, stacks, and quesadillas,” the chain added.

Moe’s said it wanted to create a fast-casual dining experience that suits the changing dietary needs of guests, from keto to paleo and vegan.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Avocado Caesar Salad: Yucatan Shrimp, Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Sliced Hass Avocado, Cilantro, Cotija Cheese, Crispy Tortillas, Avocado Caesar Dressing.
  • Quinoa Power Bowl: Mojo Chicken, Quinoa and Brown Rice Mix, Frijoles, Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Corn Pico, Sliced Hass Avocado, Cilantro, Queso Fresco, Salsa Verde.
  • Street Taco: Crunchy Avocado, Soft Blue Corn Tortilla, Diced Onion, Queso Fresco, Cilantro, Lime, Chipotle Ranch.
  • Torta: Applewood Smoked Brisket, Bolillo Bread, Frijoles, Chihuahua Cheese, Mayo, Sliced Tomato, Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro, Ancho BBQ Sauce.
  • Shareables: Street Corn, Crunchy Avocado, Charro Beans, Mac ‘N Queso and Bunuelos.

“When you think of the Southwest region in the U.S., you generally think of the four corners—Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. We started there and then pulled in elements from other areas in California and Texas—these locations combined provided the culinary inspiration for the bold menu items that we are testing,” said Ciaran Duffy, Moe’s executive chef. “Spices and ingredients like adobo, poblano peppers and hatch chiles are featured throughout the menu at The Oasis in addition to classic Moe’s concoctions served with our delicious queso and variety of salsas on the Salsa Bar.”

The new Oasis design expands on Moe’s class pallet, with added colors and textures reflective of the culture and landscape of the Southwest. A brand hallmark video, The Window to the Southwest, plays in the restaurant.

There are operational improvement as well. The restaurant features a second make-line and dedicated pick-up station for delivery and online ordering.

Moe’s said it is also testing the new items in a Moe’s Sandy Springs, Georgia, location in early 2019, as well as stores in Braselton, Georgia; Phenix City, Alabama, and Moline, Illinois.

Design, Fast Casual, Story, Moe's Southwest Grill