Moe’s Southwest Grill Names Bruce Schroder as President

ATLANTA (May 26, 2015) – FOCUS Brands® announced that Bruce Schroder has been named President of Moe’s Southwest Grill®, the fast-casual restaurant chain best known for creating delicious burritos to order with fresh, flavorful ingredients.

Since taking on the new role of Group President, with responsibility for the Restaurant Brands, Paul Damico has been leading the 15-year-old brand while searching for a leader with both the right experience and the right fit for the brand’s irreverent culture.

“Bruce is an accomplished executive with more than 30 years of experience leading companies and growing their businesses,” said FOCUS Brands Group President, Paul Damico. “He will draw on his extensive experience in the restaurant franchise business to continue the success and keep up the momentum Moe’s is experiencing and lead it to new heights.”

Bruce joins from Regus Express North America, where he served as President and grew the business with the goal of commercializing their mobile office concept with consumers. Prior to that he served as Chief Operating Officer and President of Stores for Jamba, where he led the revitalization of the domestic business. He has an impressive career, having worked for companies like HomeGain, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, AIMCO, Adina for Life, Wells Fargo and Arthur Andersen, but most notably he spent 16 years with PepsiCo, where he progressed through a wide variety of roles and assignments in finance, operations, sales, and marketing, all of which provided an excellent business foundation and enabled him to impact over $100 million in incremental contribution during his tenure with the brand.

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 all of 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 www.moes.com.

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 www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

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Moe’s Southwest Grill Inks 120 New Franchise Deals in First Half of 2014

Leading Southwest Fast-Casual Franchise Continues to Expand, Partner with Multi-Unit Owners

ATLANTA  July 14, 2014 – Moe’s Southwest Grill®, a leader in the fast-casual Mexican restaurant space, has signed 120 new franchise deals in the first six months of 2014, a record-breaking high for the brand.

Moe’s continues its aggressive expansion this year with new restaurants being developed in significant markets, such as Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. This growth is fueled by both existing franchise partners as well as new partnerships with experienced multi-unit franchise partners with notable portfolios. Earlier this year, the company signed an 18-unit agreement in Northern California, and a 10-unit deal in Las Vegas. The first restaurants in these states are slated to open by year’s end.

This past June was the largest month for franchise sales in the history of the Moe’s brand. Additionally, the company has exhibited positive same-store sales for 19 the last consecutive quarters.  “This is an exciting time to be a part of Moe’s; the high-level franchise partners we are attracting not only see Moe’s as a quality brand to add to their portfolios, but genuinely want to grow with the company,” said Paul Damico, President of Moe’s Southwest Grill. “The success we’ve experienced in the first half of 2014 gives us great momentum to build on for the rest of the year as we continue to expand and position ourselves as a national brand.”

Moe’s stands out for both its fresh, flavorful ingredients and irreverent brand culture. Moe’s “Food Mission” outlines the company’s commitment to serving the highest quality ingredients to every guest, every day, at every location.

 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 more than 550 locations in the U.S. 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 www.moes.com.

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Moe’s Southwest Grill Expands Brand to California with Multi-Unit Franchise Development Deal

ATLANTA – January 14, 2014 Moe’s Southwest Grill®, the fast-growing restaurant franchise best known for its flavorful southwest fare, has signed a deal to bring 18 new restaurants to Sacramento and Santa Cruz over the next seven years. This is Moe’s first push into California and is a crucial part of the Atlanta-based brand’s westward expansion plans.

HKM II, LLC of Roseville, Calif., headed by David Mitchell, Matt Karadanis and Rob Whittey, is the award-winning franchise group behind the California expansion. They also own 42 quick-serve burger restaurants throughout Northern California, Southern Nevada and Arizona.

The first Moe’s location is slated to open in the Sacramento area by spring of 2014. Possible sites are currently being negotiated. Overall, 14 locations are planned for the greater Sacramento region and four around Santa Cruz and the central coast. The new restaurants will help boost local economies by adding approximately 25 new jobs per location – an estimated 450 jobs total across the state upon completion.

“We have been looking to diversify and expand our restaurant portfolio, and right now fast-casual Mexican is a hot segment,” said Mitchell. “Moe’s is making all the right moves and it became readily apparent that this is a formidable brand to grow with at this time. We want to corner the Sacramento market and go from there, and we know Moe’s will do well in California.”

HKM II is owned by the Karadanis family, which has a diversified portfolio including apartments, mini-storage facilities and shopping centers. Whittey has been employed by the Karadanis family as Chief Financial Officer for more than 25 years, and Mitchell joined the group in 2000, eventually being appointed to Chief Operating Officer in 2005 in charge of directing company growth.

“I trust HKM will be a reliable, hard-working franchise partner and we’re excited that they’ll be introducing Moe’s to an area of the country that is completely new for our brand,” said Moe’s President Paul Damico. “Expanding West is a focal point for us in the upcoming year.”

All meals, including signature items like the Homewrecker burrito, Close Talker salad and John Coctostan quesadilla, are served with free chips and salsa. While Moe’s is best known for its burritos packed with a choice of more than 20 fresh ingredients, the menu also features kid’s, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-friendly options.

Moe’s was recently ranked the No. 1 Mexican food concept by leading research group Technomic in 2013. This deal is part of Moe’s strategic growth plan to increase its existing presence to a total of 800 locations nationwide by the end of 2015.

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 500 locations in the U.S. 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 www.moes.com.

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Moe’s Southwest Grill Sees 12 Percent System-Wide Sales Increase in 2013

ATLANTA Jan. 10, 2014 – Moe’s Southwest Grill®, a leader in the fast-casual Mexican restaurant space, finished 2013 with $526 million in system-wide sales – a 12 percent increase from 2012. Moe’s also exhibited a 4.5 percent increase in same-store sales, showing consistent excellence among longer-standing locations. The company, recently ranked the No. 1 Mexican food concept by leading research group Technomic, will open nearly 100 new restaurants in 2014.

In 2013, Moe’s opened 54 new restaurants, including a milestone 500th location in Manhattan in June. The company also signed 155 new franchise deals. In 2014, the Moe’s brand will start an important expansion on the west coast, beginning with an 18-unit agreement in Northern California with HKM II, LLC of Roseville, Calif – a major player in the quick-serve burger space.

“We’ve had our eyes on California for a long time now, and we found a terrific franchise partner to help us carve a path,” said Paul Damico, President of Moe’s. “2013 was great for us in terms of sales and unit growth, and we anticipate even stronger results in the next year.”

Moe’s stands out for both its food and customer incentives. Moe’s “Food Mission,” which can be found on the walls at every location, outlines the company’s commitment to never using a microwave, zero trans-fat per serving and no MSG. More than 20 fresh ingredients are prepared daily, and the menu caters to those looking for low-calorie and gluten-friendly options. Moe’s also offers free chips and salsa with every meal and a Coca-Cola Freestyle® machine for more than 100 unique drink options.

The first location in California is slated to open in the Sacramento area by spring of 2014. In total, Moe’s plans to open 96 new stores in 2014 and sign 200 new franchise agreements. Moe’s will open new restaurants in other significant markets like Dallas, Las Vegas, Fort Worth, Tex., Springfield, Mo., and Omaha, Neb., and in the works are plans for further development in markets like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Orlando.

Many of the accomplishments in recent years, and expected growth going forward, come from attracting top-level, multi-unit franchisees with remarkable portfolios – like Burger King, Five Guys, Wendy’s, Wingstop and more, says Damico.

“Prospects are increasingly looking to Moe’s because of our outstanding growth potential in an industry segment that is by no means saturated,” said Damico. “We have a fun, irreverent brand that people want to be a part of.”

At the close of 2013, Moe’s Southwest Grill had more than 550 restaurants nationwide, and a strategic growth plan is in place to increase its existing presence to a total of 800 locations by the end of 2015.

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 500 locations in the U.S. 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 www.moes.com.

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CBS’s Hit Series “Undercover Boss” Takes Moe’s President Paul Damico through Journey inside Franchise Operations

New Episode of Emmy Award-Winning CBS Reality Series to be broadcast Friday, Jan. 18 

ATLANTA – Jan. 8, 2012 – Foodservice industry veteran and President of Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Paul Damico, will have his personal and professional journey spotlighted this week on the hit CBS series “Undercover Boss.” The show airs Friday, January 18 (8pm/7c) on the CBS Television Network.  

“It’s not every day you’re given the opportunity to take an inside look at your business without any filters. I wanted a chance to see why Moe’s is standing out in the marketplace and what we can improve on as a leader in the fast casual restaurant industry,” said Damico. “I walked away from this experience extraordinarily proud of our crew members and the operations team throughout our restaurant organization.”

Damico’s decision to participate in “Undercover Boss” comes as Moe’s, the fast-growing restaurant franchise best known for its flavorful southwest fare and fun and engaging brand culture, is experiencing tremendous growth and fine-tuning operations to ensure long-term success of the brand, which was established in 2000. Damico was named president of Moe’s Southwest Grill in 2008 after a long foodservice industry career with companies like SSP America, FoodBrand, LLC, and Host Marriott Service Corporation, all industry leaders in the restaurant business.

He and other Moe’s leaders will take what Damico learned and continue to build on the experience. Jobs Damico participated in during the show include food preparation with a shift supervisor, working the register with a general manager, going on sales calls with a catering director and rolling burritos with a line cook.

Each week, the Emmy Award-winning “Undercover Boss,” in its fourth season, follows a different executive as they leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies. While working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organizations and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering and rewarding the unsung heroes who make their companies run.

Moe’s is part of FOCUS Brands, a restaurant group with a robust international infrastructure that currently supports more than 1,000 locations in more than 60 countries and is poised to support significant international growth for Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Media can access photos from the episode at the following link: http://www.cbspressexpress.com/cbs-entertainment/shows/undercover-boss/photos/?episode=1751

Tex-Mex Heads to Turkey as Credit Thaw Fuels Restaurant Growth

March 19 (Bloomberg) — FOCUS Brands Inc., the owner of Carvel ice cream and Cinnabon, will add 50 locations this year to its fastest growing chain, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and expand into Turkey as the global recession recedes.

Atlanta-based FOCUS has signed a franchise agreement to add 40 Moe’s restaurants in Turkey over seven years, marking the brand’s first foray outside the U.S. and Canada, Mike Shattuck, president of FOCUS Brands International, said this week in an interview. The first of the Turkey locations will open in Istanbul’s Sapphire Tower in September, he said. Read More

Source: Bloomberg

President Paul Damico Talks About Moe’s Growth on FOX Business News

ATLANTA, GA (March 3, 2010) – Paul Damico, president of Moe’s Southwest Grill, was on the FOX Business news segment “Small Companies, Big Ideas” discussing the Moe’s business and its plans for growth. With over 400 locations in 34 states, plans to open 50 restaurants this year and 33 deals in development from this quarter alone, Moe’s is poised for and exciting 2010.