Sponsored by Focus Brands
At Moe’s Southwest Grill, the world famous queso and signature Homewrecker burrito are menu staples that consumers know and love, but, in an increasingly competitive fast casual Mexican food market, it takes more than iconic menu items to stand out. Over the past two years, Moe’s Southwest Grill has been on a journey to make improvements to the made-to-order menu, listening to consumer feedback to make thoughtful (and flavorful!) changes to its existing menu.
“We spent time with our consumers by hosting focus groups in key markets across the country,” said Tory Bartlett, Chief Brand Officer of Moe’s Southwest Grill. “Guests love our free chips and salsa—we heard that loud and clear—but they also shared what really matters to them when dining out. And that is fresh food and high-quality ingredients.”
Rolling America’s Favorite Burrito
Guests place high importance on ingredients that are critical to rolling the best burrito—tortillas, proteins and cheese—so one of the first actions that the brand took was refreshing the proteins. At Moe’s Southwest Grill, guests can choose from sirloin steak, white meat chicken, adobo chicken, carnitas and ground beef without any artificial colors or flavors. The white meat chicken is a differentiator for the brand, one that you won’t find at most other fast casual Mexican chain restaurants.
Believe it or not, tortillas were cited in brand research as the number one most important ingredient in a great burrito and Moe’s Southwest Grill takes this very seriously. Under the leadership of Chef Caroline Morris, the brand made changes to the tortilla recipe to include a fresher product with improved flavor and taste. Chef Morris also helped develop improvements on a critically important item for any burrito: the guacamole.
Just this summer, Moe’s Southwest Grill introduced an enhanced guacamole recipe where seasonings were balanced for a more authentic recipe. Tomatoes were also removed to create a thicker, more avocado forward flavor and look. “We have also increased our standard side portion size to 3 ounces, creating a better value proposition for franchisees and customers,” added Bartlett.
The brand is also testing improvements to existing ingredients like its Corn Salsa. Many years ago, Moe’s Southwest Grill introduced Corn Salsa as a seasonal salsa, and it’s now a staple on the everyday menu. But just because it is a staple menu item, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. “We are testing a Roasted Corn Salsa,” said Bartlett. “In our first side-by-side test comparison, the new recipe sold three times more frequently than the original recipe. We’re really excited about that.”
But one thing isn’t changing at Moe’s Southwest Grill—the tried-and-true recipe of their famous queso won’t be changing.
Keeping Franchisees Top of Mind
As the brand makes changes to its menu, the team at Moe’s Southwest Grill is keeping the brand’s franchisees top of mind by bringing forward innovative culinary solutions that are cost neutral.
“We listen and learn from our franchisees,” said Bartlett. “Having an engaged system of Moe’s franchisees is critical to our success so it’s important to bring them along as we transform our menu.”
With the potential to see an AUV north of $1 million*, Moe’s Southwest Grill can be an enticing investment for restaurant franchisees looking to bring a new brand in to their portfolio.
Welcome to Moe’s!
Consumers have always been greeted with a hearty “Welcome to Moe’s!” when they enter the restaurant, making burrito-fanatics feel right at home. Under the leadership of Bartlett, Moe’s Southwest Grill continues that tradition, while also offering innovative new menu items and delivering operational excellence all with an increased emphasis on digital transactions. As part of this transformation, the brand is actively looking to grow in new markets, with new venues including travel hubs, colleges and universities, in-line and freestanding locations, with or without a drive-thru.
Through the end of 2022, we are currently offering compelling incentives for franchisees looking to sign franchise agreements with the brand. Visit development.focusbrands.com to learn more about how you can become part of the Moe’s Southwest Grill family. Welcome to Moe’s!
*Average net sales in our 2021 fiscal year for 482 franchises that operated throughout such fiscal year in traditional locations (out of 553 franchises in traditional locations and 658 total franchises that were operating as of 12/31/21). See Item 19 of our March 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document for additional details. Some outlets have sold this amount, but your results may differ. This information is not intended as an offer to sell a franchise. We will not offer you a franchise until we have complied with disclosure and registration requirements in your jurisdiction. Contact Moe’s Franchisor SPV LLC, located at 5620 Glenridge Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30342, to request a copy of our FDD. RESIDENTS OF NEW YORK: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the New York Department of Law. RESIDENTS OF MINNESOTA: MN Franchise Registration Numbers: Moe’s Franchisor SPV LLC: F-8188.