9 restaurants opened to close out year; 12-15 restaurants opening in 2021
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Eggs Up Grill – a thriving breakfast, brunch and lunch brand – celebrated a record nine restaurant openings in 2020. The Brand is projected to surpass that record in 2021, on track to open more than a dozen new restaurants and entering two additional states.
“In spite of immense challenges, 2020 was a productive year for Eggs Up Grill,” said Ricky Richardson, CEO of Eggs Up Grill. “Circumstances created new opportunities for growth that we and our franchise partners quickly seized, leveraging our Brand’s appeal, operational expertise and new technologies to respond to the unique experience of this year. We took early steps to help our partners weather the storm financially, quickly moved to identify and adopt new channels of sales growth and took impactful steps to improve restaurant profitability. Our franchise partners deserve immense credit for their hard work responding to these challenges and I’m proud that together Eggs Up Grill’s sales are significantly outperforming other restaurants in our category. And through it all we’ve maintained our record of never having closed a location.”
Since being acquired by WJ Partners in early 2018, Eggs Up Grill has grown to 46 restaurants in four states – Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina – doubling in size under Richardson’s leadership. The brand’s 2021 plans include entry into Alabama and Tennessee as it continues to expand across the Southeast. In all, more than 40 additional restaurants are committed under development agreements, including 18 locations that the brand signed in 2020. The impressive growth, despite the industry challenges of 2020, serves as an indicator that now, more than ever, Egg Up Grill is an ideal brand for franchising in the restaurant segment.
Former Eggs Up Grill Chief Financial Officer Andy Wright, a native of Gainesville, Ga., and his wife, Penny, signed a franchise deal at the end of 2019 to develop five restaurants in North Georgia. Their first location opened in Canton in December and the duo has already started construction on their second restaurant Rome, Ga., slated to open in March 2021.
“The first time we walked into an Eggs Up Grill on our anniversary weekend in Greenville, the seed was planted for opening our own,” said Andy, co-owner of the Canton restaurant. “As I learned more about Eggs Up Grill and gained first-hand experience, the feeling that this was the right fit as a long-term opportunity grew. The excitement found in a thriving brand, the community focus, the quality of the food, the opportunity for growth – those are just a few of the reasons my wife and I are continuing our journey with Eggs Up Grill in this new role as franchisees.”
Georgia franchisees Heath and Amy Greene, and Ben Shephard, also opened their first of three Eggs Up Grill restaurants in Savannah in December. The owners plan to seek out future locations in the Savannah market in 2021.
These two December openings followed the brand’s expansion with a second restaurant in Florida. In November, Eggs Up Grill opened in the Tampa suburb of Riverview, Florida. The new Eggs Up Grill is owned and operated by a trio, including a local firefighter and two pharmacists, who love the idea of being entrepreneurs in addition to their careers.
“We have dabbled in small business ownership in the past and felt we had the experience to try something bigger,” said Priscilla Conyers, co-owner of the new Riverview restaurant. “With two small children, my husband and I were very attracted to the Eggs Up Grill concept. This is a broadly appealing, simple to execute, family restaurant with operating hours that do not detract from our own family life.”
According to Black Box Intelligence, Eggs Up Grill consistently outperforms its competitors in unit sales recovery in the family and casual-dining segment both regionally and nationally. One recent contributing factor was Eggs Up Grill’s quick adaptation and emphasis on takeout, delivery and catering at the beginning of 2020. The off-premise segment now makes up more than 20 percent of total sales, boosting Q4 revenues back to 90% of what they were prior to COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, 30 percent of restaurants increased year-over-year sales from Q4 2019.
To maintain those sales levels through 2021, Eggs Up Grill is continuing to adapt to the needs of its franchisees and guests. Amplifying the 2020 introduction of a “touchless” experience (QR code menus, digital ordering, contactless payments) the brand is rolling out improvements in online technology to make it easier for its guest to order takeout and delivery. Additionally, the Brand is evolving its prototype to further streamline back-of-the-house operations while also testing an order pickup window to enable guests to receive their takeout order without leaving their car.
“As we enter 2021, we are fully focused on growth – in sales, franchisee profitability and in new restaurants” said Richardson. “While 2020 was uniquely challenging it helped us refine our business model, identify new sales channels and streamline restaurant operations in a way that serves as a terrific foundation for accelerated growth in 2021.”
Historically a Brand that focused on single restaurant franchisees, Eggs Up Grill is also targeting business-focused investors, both with and without restaurant experience, who are looking for a business growth opportunity. Franchise partners are attracted to its brand positioning, daypart focus (6 am – 2 pm), successful business model and best in class franchise support, all with a two decade plus proven track record.
Todd Owen, VP of Franchise Sales and Development for Eggs Up Grill said, “Once they dive into the brand and engage with our existing franchise partners, prospective franchisees really appreciate the scalability of the concept. Fifty-percent of franchisees have multiple locations, and many have signed agreements for additional restaurants.”
The startup costs for an Eggs Up Grill franchise range from $462,330 to $653,680. The franchise fee is $39,000. To learn more about franchising with Eggs Up Grill, visit https://eggsupgrill.com/franchise/.