Eggs Up Grill, a breakfast-lunch concept, is slowly adding in adult beverages and tailoring its menu as it continues to expand in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ricky Richardson, CEO of the brand.
Spartanburg, S.C.-based Eggs Up Grill has 43 units in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. It plans to have nine new unit open by the end of this year and the company expects to enter Georgia next year and has plans for Alabama and Tennessee.
Richardson joined the company in July 2018 after it had been purchased by the Spartanburg-based WJ Partners private-equity firm.
Average unit volumes for the brand were just under $1 million before the pandemic, Richardson said, and the brand is 100% franchised generally in shopping areas anchored by supermarkets.
“We consider ourselves in the ‘better breakfast category,’” Richardson said, emphasizing that the brand has approachable ingredients.
In late February, before the pandemic was declared, a franchisee in Columbia, S.C., proposed adding mimosas to the menu. That started March 4 and will be expanding to eight units soon. By November, Eggs Up Grill expects to have adult beverages in about 30 of its 43 units by the end of November, Richardson said.
Those adult beverages make up between 4% to 8% of sales in the seven units, he added, and the brand expects them to make up an average 5% when fully rolled out.
Being an entirely franchised brand has been a challenge in the COVID-19 era, Richardson said, “communication has been absolutely critical.”
Listen to the Extra Serving podcast with Ricky Richardson here: