Newk’s Eatery recently recognized its 10th anniversary with a celebration at the original restaurant located in Oxford, Mississippi. The event was an opportunity for former partners and current leadership to celebrate 10 years being open. It was also a time for the original store’s general manager, Phillip O’Reilly, to sign a franchise agreement expanding his current Nashville-area contract. With two existing Newk’s in Middle Tennessee located in Murfreesboro and Franklin, MTN Hospitality, the Nashville-area franchisee consisting of O’Reilly and his partners, will boost the total Newk’s restaurants in the area to nine by 2019.

“As seasoned Newk’s franchise operators, O’Reilly and his team have built one of our company’s most successful franchise enterprises,” says Alan Wright, Newk’s vice president of marketing and franchise operations. “From a corporate standpoint, we are delighted that MTN Hospitality will solidify Newk’s presence in the Nashville market as we begin expansion from the Southeast into the lower Midwest region.”

MTN Hospitality entered Middle Tennessee in 2008 with their first location in Murfreesboro at The Avenue. O’Reilly and his wife, Mary Armour O’Reilly, took a hands-on approach by getting involved in the community and participating in local events. As a result, the chain’s 19th restaurant slowly became a popular local lunch and dinner spot. Their second location opened in May of 2011 and has since experienced exponential growth.

O’Reilly’s two restaurants are among the company’s top 10 grossing locations, with double digit year-over-year same store sales increases. He attributes the success to consistently providing superior food quality and flavor, exceptional customer service, strong catering business, and community engagement.

These characteristics of the Newk’s brand are shared by franchisees across the company and are an important part of company-wide success.

“Newk’s offers a more upscale, family-friendly dining experience than other fast-casual brands, with higher quality food and a more modest price point,” O’Reilly says. “These features are well received by our guests, contributing to our success in this region.”

MTN Hospitality will kick off its six-unit Newk’s expansion with a location in Boyle Investment Company’s CityPark development on Franklin Rd. in Brentwood. Newk’s expects to break ground on the 4,500 square foot restaurant in early fall 2014 and open before the end of the year. Nashville-based real estate broker, Cherry & Associates, is assisting MTN Hospitality in its expansion efforts as they look for other opportunities in the area.


Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Newk's Eatery