I was so inspired by The Franchise Hound’s exclusive interview with Laura Leigh Drake, a successful multi-unit franchisee of Moe’s Southwest Grill, that I wanted to share this discovery with you.
For those of you who are not familiar with the brand, Moe’s Southwest Grill is a fast casual chain of restaurants offering fresh, made-to-order southwest fare consisting of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads, fajitas, and rice bowls. The food reminds me more of Chevy’s (which I enjoyed when I was still living in San Francisco) than Qdoba or Chipotle.
Laura Drake joined the Moe’s franchise system by buying an existing Moe’s restaurant, after years of running a successful marketing business from home. Within just 10 months of operating their Moe’s restaurant, Laura’s husband gave up his job and joined the business full-time. They went on to buy 3 more Moe’s restaurants and opened 2 locations from scratch — for a total of 6 locations.
But their plans don’t end there. Over time, Laura and her husband plan to buy 5 more locations in Northern Alabama as part of Phase 2 of their growth strategy, and eventually buy out another Moe’s group as the culmination of Phase 3 of their business plan.
One thing that impressed me was how pro-active Laura and her husband were in making suggestions to corporate based on their observations of the eating preferences of their customers. The Drakes were instrumental in Moe’s rolling out a successful nationwide menu initiative. As to what this new initiative is — you’ll have to read the full interview to find out. Clue: it’s the opposite of super-sizing.