Beyond Juicery + Eatery’s story reads like a playbook of exactly how to succeed in the restaurant business. Co-founder Mijo Alanis first started in the industry at age 15 washing dishes at a local burger restaurant. He worked his way up the ladder the old-fashioned way: from dishwasher, to prep cook, to line cook, to eventual corporate management.
During a closing shift, Alanis had a “one minute before closing” customer that changed the course of his life: his future wife and Beyond co-founder, Pam Vivio. “I tell our staff, ‘You never know what will happen in that last minute, so treat the last guest the same as the first,’” Alanis says.
Vivio’s father owned a restaurant, and Alanis soon joined the family business. It was from his father-in-law that he learned the ropes of independent ownership. “He taught me what it’s like to stick the key in the door in the morning and lock it up at night,” Alanis says. “But more than anything, he taught me how to balance work and family life and how to bring the two together.”
In the early 2000s, Alanis noticed a trend: Customers were throwing away hamburger buns and asking for substitutions, such as fruit or salad instead of fries. While on vacation in Arizona, he visited a juice bar that he couldn’t stop thinking about once he returned home. Not only was the juice a healthy and delicious treat, but he felt revived and energetic afterwards.
“That’s when a chord struck in my head—take the juice bar concept, and design it to meet the needs of customers today,” Alanis says. In 2005, he and Vivio invested their savings into the first Beyond Juicery + Eatery in Birmingham, Michigan.
In 2008, the brand gained traction for its delicious menu offerings, sleek restaurant look, and its “be the best part of someone’s day” mindset, and franchise inquiries began. By 2015, the couple had so many knocks on the door that they decided to build out a commissary and open four more stores. “We built four stores in 14 months, wrote training manuals, and created franchise agreements,” Alanis says. “By the time we finished, we’d already sold our first franchise.”
Seven years into its franchising journey, Beyond Juicery + Eatery has 50 U.S. locations either open or in development and is eager to open more, specifically in Michigan and Ohio, with a desire to expand into Florida and Indiana as well. Potential franchisees need $400,000 net worth and $150,000 liquidity and can sign on for single or multiple units. It also helps to have a passion for healthy food and nutrition. Franchisees immerse themselves in company culture during two weeks of field training and two weeks of classroom training and receive 24/7 support from the C-suite. While it’s important that potential franchisees be properly capitalized and have an entrepreneurial mindset, the culture aspect is particularly important.
“It was the feeling I got in that juice bar in Arizona that made me remember it so much,” Alanis says. “When we select franchisees, that is the criteria I use. I can tell you how each franchisee fit into our core values—even before we had them.”
For more on franchising with Beyond Juicery + Eatery, visit franchise.beyondjuiceryeatery.com.