MOOYAH, a nearly 50-unit, fast-casual, “better burger,” fries and shakes chain, honored its outstanding employees and franchisees at the company’s 2012 convention, held in Frisco, Texas from November 13 to 15. The awards recognize the success of employees and franchisees in the MOOYAH system, all of whom have helped spur a year of incredible growth for the “better burger” brand.

“Without the contributions of our amazing employees and franchisees, MOOYAH would be nowhere nearly as successful, or enjoy the brand recognition” says Alan Hixon, president of MOOYAH Burgers, Fries, & Shakes. “Our award winners have truly demonstrated excellence in their operations, and we can’t wait to celebrate with them now and in the future.”
Jason Kullman, recipient of the Operator of the Year award was presented with the honor by his father Jeff, with whom Kullman works alongside. “This award celebrates an operator who sets the standard for the rest of us by performing well on operating metrics, achieving consistent positive guest feedback, and receiving the highest marks on brand DNA reports,” says Jeff Kullman.
The Kullman family had much to celebrate as Jeff was honored as Franchisee of the Year, an award identifying the franchise group that exemplifies excellence in all areas, passion for the MOOYAH brand, and extraordinary customer service and attention to detail. Together, the family operates MOOYAH locations throughout Texas, including Flower Mound and Southlake, with new locations set to open soon in Plano and Grapevine.
Awards were also given out for Rookie of the Year, which recognizes franchisees who open in a new market and demonstrate leadership in launching the brand, hiring great talent, and training strong team members to introduce the MOOYAH brand into new communities. Bailey McGuire and Frank Scuito, some of the brand’s youngest franchisees, took home the award for their work in Burleson, Texas, as did the husband and wife team of Melissa and Gilbert Ramirez, operating a MOOYAH location in McKinney, Texas.
Finally, Matt Rusconi and longtime business partner Dave Vorchheimer were presented with the Hometown Home Team award, an honor that celebrates the successes of local ownership and grassroots community involvement, something both Rusconi and Vorchheimer exemplify in their existing and upcoming MOOYAH locations in the Hartford, Connecticut area.
“As we continue to grow the MOOYAH brand, the winners of these awards exemplify the type of people we look for in operators, franchisees, and employees,” says Hixon. “Collectively, we have much to look forward to in the years to come.”
The MOOYAH convention was sponsored by the following brands, which the burger concept counts as proud partners in a successful brand recipe: Coca-Cola, iDStudio4, MARS foodservices, Thomas Reprographics, TRANE, OLO, BUNGE, Cholula Hot Sauce, Simplot, U.S. Foods, Paragon, Texas Metal, Equipment Company, Jennie-O, Tyson, Heinz, Hershey’s, PAR, KC Masterpiece, Hellmann’s, Culture Farm, and Stingray Worldwide.
Founded in Dallas in 2007, MOOYAH set out to deliver a simple American favorite not only made well, but in a friendly, service-oriented setting. MOOYAH executives have enjoyed an aggressive expansion in 2012 that includes 20+ new units, and points to markets within Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Virginia as ripe for expansion.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, News, Operations, Mooyah