Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a fast-casual, “better burger” chain, opened its fourth Illinois location on November 23 at 2611 West Jefferson Street in Joliet. The location is owned and operated by father-son team, Faysal and Kal Mohamed, who opened their first location in Oak Lawn in July. The new locations are accelerating Mooyah’s presence across the greater Chicago area, with plans to add 10 new restaurants over the next two years.
“When I was first introduced to Mooyah, I was extremely impressed by the food, atmosphere and culture of the brand,” Kal Mohamed says. “I knew this would be a perfect business opportunity and addition to the Chicagoland area, and I’m excited to share our quality product and a customizable menu to new fans in Joliet.”
The Mohameds are entrepreneurs at heart and were ready to pursue the next step in their business portfolio. For 25 years, the family worked in real estate development and management, building shopping centers with successful businesses. Faysal got his start with the Great Steak & Potato restaurant and Kal began his entrepreneurial career with a chain of cell phone stores.
“The Oak Lawn community has really embraced Mooyah, and we expect to see Joliet become quick fans of the product and concept, as well,” says Michael Mabry, chief operating officer of Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes. “Our family-friendly atmosphere and fresh quality product excels in communities like Joliet, and we can’t wait to open the doors and continue expanding throughout the area.”
The Mohameds have signed-on to open ten locations throughout the Chicago suburbs. With Oak Lawn and Joliet now up and running, they’ll begin searching for real estate for their next location.
The same day Mooyah also opened its second Wisconsin location—this one at 571 State St. in Madison, next to the University of Wisconsin campus. The new restaurant is also the second location for local franchisee Randy Bergeson.
Experienced franchisee Randy Bergeson teamed up with his sons Lucas and Josh to spearhead Mooyah’s growth in the Badger State. Randy grew up working in a family restaurant and has raised his own sons in the same environment. After his time at his family restaurant in Minnesota, Randy went on to manage two other national franchise brands for 15 years before opening his own business. For the past 15 years, Randy has been running three Subway restaurants in southwest Wisconsin.
“The response from the community since we opened our first location last spring has been overwhelming,” Bergeson says. “We will continue to expand just as quickly as Wisconsinites come out to the restaurants and become loyal brand fans. We know that the Madison community will be just as excited about what Mooyah has to offer as Fitchburg is.”
Opening a Mooyah was youngest son Lucas’s idea. He and his brother Josh, 26, both University of Wisconsin graduates, were eager to begin a business as a family.
“This experience has been so much fun so far and we are excited to see the brand presence grow throughout the region,” says Lucas, 23. “I knew that Mooyah would be a big hit in the community and getting to build a business with my dad and brother has been a dream come true. With this second opening, we’re excited to bring Mooyah to a new community.”
The Bergeson’s Mooyah location also recently received the award for “Best in the Midwest Burger Competition,” hosted by Fox 47 WMSN-Madison. After battling it out with five other area burger joints, Mooyah took home the top honor with 41 percent of the viewer vote.
“It’s a great time for the Mooyah brand,” says Michael Mabry, chief operating officer of Mooyah. “The Bergeson’s passion for the brand is evident in the commitment they’ve made to continue the growth throughout the region, and we’re so excited to give the Madison area and beyond a taste of Mooyah.”
Mooyah is on pace to open 30 new locations and reach the milestone of 100 before the close of the year. The booming better-burger brand is set to enter several new states in 2015, with the first Mooyah restaurants in New York, Massachusetts, and Florida. Additionally, the brand will increase their established presence in states including California, Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana. The brand continues to spread the unique Mooyah experience beyond domestic borders too. Mooyah will open their first restaurant in Qatar in 2015, marking the seventh country Mooyah has entered outside the U.S.