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 continues to be a big draw for potential franchisees in 2016. “With the number of deals we are selling, the number of stores we are opening, and the 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.

Corp says Moe’s is recruiting franchisees with solid, proven restaurant operations 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 be sooner if the franchisee already has real estate. Moe’s is looking for traditional locations in vibrant markets with visibility and ample parking, as well as non-traditional venues such as airports, colleges, and other captive audience venues.

Moe’s uses its four corporate stores for training, as well as to test new menu items, equipment and other new processes before they roll out at franchise locations. “We don’t compete with our franchisees,” Corp says. Moe’s has also recently opened a fifth corporate location which serves as a platform for the brand’s “restaurant of the future.”

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