Gregg Majewski is no stranger to overseeing brands transform into something huge. The former Jimmy John’s CEO arrived at the sandwich brand in 1998, when it had just 30 stores. By the time he left in 2003, Jimmy John’s had 300 stores open and 300 more in the pipeline.
When Majewski was named CEO of Mongolian Concepts—parent company of a trio of brands that includes Genghis Grill, FlatTop Grill, and BD’s Mongolian Grill—in the fall of 2021, he saw something in the brands that made him believe they could grow in a massive way. In looking at Genghis Grill, he loved that the concept was built around customers designing their own bowl, choosing from over 80 fresh ingredients and sauces. He also saw loads of potential in a brand that was doing around 30 percent of its order mix through off-premise channels without having invested a great deal in the infrastructure to grow it even more.
“Most brands need a turnaround because the structure is breaking,” Majewski says. “But Genghis Grill already has a really good structure. It has the food and customization people are looking for today. There’s really no other concept like it. It just needed some tweaks and some leadership to help mandate consistency. We believe so much in what we’ve done over the past few months that we’re rolling out these incentives to say, ‘We know this is going to work. I’m willing to invest with you.’”
The incentives include up to $150,000 of royalty abatement for the first two years, development fees waived and a reduced franchise fee of $5,000. “I truly, truly believe in this brand,” Majewski says. “It’s on the right path, it’s a good investment and I want to help interested candidates and existing franchisees as much as I can.”
One unique aspect of Majewski’s role in the brand is that he is also a franchisee—he owns several stores himself. He believes that while some franchisors talk the talk when it comes to thinking of franchisees as partners, he truly understands things from both sides of the relationship.
“Being on both sides of the table, I know the decisions that really hurt if I’m going to screw up,” Majewski says. “If I’m asking franchisees to spend money, I better be sure it’s an incredible return on investment for them. I like knowing what they go through and it allows me to make my decisions based on what’s best for everyone.”
Some of the biggest investments the company has made in priming Genghis Grill for growth is in differentiating itself from its sister brands, Flat Top Grill and BD’s Mongolian Grill. Each is a unique concept, but it had gotten blurred of late, Majewski says, before he came on board. Majewski also increased Genghis Grill’s throughput in a big way, going from getting bowls out in 8-to-14 minutes down to 4-to-6 minutes. The brand has also brought in a mixologist to help create a cocktail menu that is more in line with the quality of the food and helps add revenue and higher margins to the average ticket. Majewski is confident the brand can bring its off-premises sales from 30 percent of its order mix up to 50 percent.
Now Majewski and Genghis Grill are looking for franchisees to help the brand grow across the country. With very few spaces on the map that the brand isn’t willing to go—with the exceptions of the northeastern U.S. and the west coast—he says now is the time to enjoy some royalty incentives and to get in on the ground floor of the Genghis Grill expansion.
“Getting in early is always the best time to join a franchise company,” Majewski says. “We’re looking for owner-operators who either want a one-store deal, or they want to have a multi-unit portfolio and have experience franchising with other brands. There’s so much potential here. I think it’s a really great investment opportunity for any type of franchisee.”
For more on franchising with Genghis Grill, visit the company’s website.