Established But Hip: Moe’s Southwest Grill offers the best of both worlds

Moe’s Southwest Grill thrives in one of the fastest growing segments of the restaurant industry: fast-casual Mexican, a special niche in the ethnic fast-casual market that Steve Corp, senior vice president of franchise sales at Moe’s, calls “established but hip.” That unique combination promises to be a big draw for potential franchisees in 2015. “With the number of deals we are selling, the number of stores we are opening, and the same-store sales performance we are delivering, combined with the fact that industry experts have named Moe’s a top fast-casual Mexican chain, the brand provides a fantastic opportunity for owners looking to expand,” Corp says. “There is still ample space for Moe’s to grow.”

Corp says Moe’s is recruiting franchisees with solid, proven business and marketing abilities. “We are looking for multi-unit restaurant owners, individuals who own other brands but have experience managing multiple restaurants and have a development team in place,” he says. “Those people are well-capitalized, know how to hire, and know what it takes to run multiple restaurants.”

The company is also looking for people with a sense of fun. “We are kind of a quirky, irreverent brand,” Corp says, “so we look for franchisees who have that uniqueness as well.” After new franchisees sign with Moe’s, they head to three weeks of training at the company headquarters in Atlanta. The training is designed to teach experienced restaurant operators the Moe’s system through hands-on restaurant work as well as classroom work.

Depending on the type of location, the process of opening a franchisee’s first location can take 10 to 12 months, although it could open sooner if the franchisee already has real estate picked out. Moe’s is looking for traditional locations with visibility and ample parking, as well as non-traditional venues such as airports, colleges, and other captive audience venues.

Moe’s has corporate stores, which it uses to test new training procedures, menu items, equipment and other new processes before they roll out at franchise locations. “We don’t compete with our franchisees,” Corp says.

Over the long haul, Moe’s supports its franchisees with dedicated consultants based in the same geographic area as the owners. “We are a full-service franchise company,” says Corp. “We provide our franchisees ongoing support every step of the way.”

For more information about franchising opportunities with Moe’s Southwest Grill, visit