Moe’s Southwest Grill Continues Fast-Paced Growth with Opening of 600th Restaurant

 Leading Southwest Fast-Casual Brand Celebrates Significant Opening in Salt Lake City, Inks Franchise Agreements Nationwide 

ATLANTA – May 19, 2015 – Moe’s Southwest Grill®, a leader in the fast-casual Mexican space, opened its 600th restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah this month. The milestone reflects the momentum the brand has built by signing several high-profile multi-unit franchise agreements nationwide, just 15 years after opening its first location in Atlanta, Georgia.

“The opening of our 600th restaurant is an achievement that was reached largely thanks to our dedicated franchisees and loyal guests across the country,” said Paul Damico, Group President for FOCUS Brands. “As we continue to expand our footprint in coming years, our focus will remain on offering quality food and unique dining experiences.”

The Salt Lake City restaurant marks the first Moe’s in the state and is part of the company’s plans to further develop its presence in the western part of the U.S.. Moe’s hopes to open 70 new restaurants this year and continue an aggressive expansion, with new Moe’s also debuting in Chicago, Cleveland, and the state of Iowa. Expansion over the coming year will be driven by several multi-unit franchise deals inked, including:

  • A 20-unit deal for West Chicago, signed by Willie Torchia, franchise owner of 16 TGI Fridays® restaurants;
  • A 12-unit deal for the Baltimore DMA, signed by Hardy Gill, a franchise owner/partner in 30 Denny’s® restaurants;
  • A 12 unit deal for all of Maine and North Boston, signed by Danny Costa, Mike Costa and Mark Pesce, franchise owners of more than 40 Dunkin’ Donuts® restaurants;
  • A 12-unit deal for most of Iowa, signed by Scott Davis, Matt Middendorp, Mike Middendorp and Mike Flanagan, franchise owners of 9 Pizza Ranch®

Moe’s currently operates in 37 states including D.C., and in international markets such as Guatemala and Jamaica. The company is seeking experienced, multi-unit franchise owners to develop San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix and Detroit.

In 2014, Moe’s opened 63 new restaurants – more than one restaurant per week – and signed over 150 new franchise deals. The company had 5.8 percent positive same-store sales and $570 million system-wide sales.

Ranked No. 1 Mexican food chain by consumers in Restaurant Business Magazine in 2015, Atlanta-based Moe’s Southwest Grill serves fresh, made-to-order burritos and southwest fare in a fun and laid-back environment.

“Welcome to Moe’s!” is more than a greeting; it’s a way of life for the folks who customize each meal made fresh, to order in front of every guest. All meals, including signature menu items like the Homewrecker burrito, Close Talker salad and John Coctostan quesadilla, are served with free chips and salsa. New Moe’s locations also encourage guests to customize their beverage by offering a selection of more than 100 brands to choose from with the Coca-Cola Freestyle® soda fountain.

About Moe’s Southwest Grill®

Welcome to Moe’s!® Founded in 2000 in Atlanta, GA, Moe’s Southwest Grill is a fast-casual restaurant franchise featuring fresh, handmade, customizable southwestern food in a welcoming environment that rocks. Moe’s is committed to serving only the highest quality ingredients 100% of the time at our locations in the U.S and abroad. While Moe’s is best known for its burritos packed with a choice of more than 20 fresh, flavorful ingredients, the menu also features kid’s, vegetarian and low-calorie options, all served with free chips and salsa. Check out Moe’s online at

About FOCUS Brands Inc.

Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc. is the franchisor and operator of over 4,000 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® and McAlister’s Deli®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets.  Please visit to learn more.



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