SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Eggs Up Grill, a rapidly growing breakfast, brunch, and lunch brand, is anticipating 2021 being a record-breaking year for development with 12-15 new restaurant openings. The brand is making progress toward those openings with six leases currently signed, and more expected before the end of the first quarter. The success of the franchise partners at each of these locations starts with the best real estate. That’s why Eggs Up Grill has invested in a nearly two-year partnership with The Retail Strategy, taking the worry and complexities of site selection away from a budding franchise partner.
Steve McCue and his partner Michael Said are new Eggs Up Grill franchise partners opening in the Norfolk, Va., market in late Spring. They recently signed a lease for their first Eggs Up Grill restaurant. The two have well over 20 years each of experience in franchising and were confident that they knew what to look for in an ideal site.
“When Michael and I found out that Eggs Up Grill offered a third-party service for site selection, to be honest, we were against it,” said Steve. “We felt that we had done this many times before and didn’t see the need. I want to go on the record that I was wrong! The Retail Strategy, and especially our representative Miller Snyder, is first class. He actually flew to Norfolk on his own prior to meeting with us. When he came to do the market drive with us, you would have thought that he lived there. We were very impressed.”
The Retail Strategy (TRS) provides national, full-service commercial real estate expertise and deal support. Since partnering with Eggs Up Grill in 2019, TRS developed a strategic plan diving into key attributes of the brand. TRS applies an individualized approach to finding the right location in each community using mapping and analytics technology to optimize market positioning. Through the brand partnership with TRS, franchise partners have access to this support at no cost to the franchise partner.
“A restaurant’s location is so much more than just an address – it’s one of the most important decisions you will make as an Eggs Up Grill franchise partner,” says Todd Owen, vice president of franchise sales and development for Eggs Up Grill. “The TRS partnership ensures that our decisions are guided by experts, and empowered by critical market data, so we can, in turn, maximize sales potential.”
Lauren Brunner, founder and CEO of TRS, has worked with dozens of major retailers and restaurant brands, but says that this kind of investment by a franchisor is rare.
“By using our platform, Eggs Up Grill’s leadership allows you full-service support during the site selection process, and that’s invaluable,” says Brunner. “We use data and analytics and the best team members in the industry to ensure that we minimize exposure and maximize incentives, all while guiding you through the entire process. We really are an extension of the Eggs Up Grill opening team.”
For the franchise partner, the TRS partnership begins just after the signing of the franchise agreement. TRS presents franchisees with a review of the “tour book” that provides detailed visuals of the market, ideal sites that are either available or will become available soon, site specifics, and the key attributes of the trade area/marketplace. Of equal importance, the book spotlights consumer habits including where people in the area live, work, shop, and frequent. The TRS team analyzes density, demographics, psychographics, consumer behavior, and even cellular data, as well as traffic drivers like colleges, hospitals, corporations, and military bases.
Next, the TRS team travels to the market to begin narrowing down the list of sites with the franchise partner. In addition to visiting sites, they are able to educate potential landlords on the advantages of partnering with the brand and the franchise partner. Eggs Up Grill restaurants drive a great amount of morning traffic to a shopping center, which complements other businesses. This leads to negotiations regarding lease terms, incentives, and improvements.
Brunner says her team understands the success factors needed for Eggs Up Grill. They use their research and expertise, and even creative workarounds when necessary, to negotiate the best terms possible. Once accepted by the Eggs Up Grill team and the franchise partner, the lease is signed. The timing of the process varies from site to site, but TRS ensures that franchise partners start the process early, allowing for a customized experience and the best site selection possible.
“Choosing your restaurant’s location is an exciting but complex journey, and we are honored to be part of the process,” added Brunner. “Our team is decidedly passionate about Eggs Up Grill because of our great respect for the company’s devoted leadership, and the brand’s community commitment. This brand really does walk the walk, and it’s inspiring to be a part of it.”
That’s something that franchise partner Steve McCue says he now sees firsthand.
“We didn’t know what to expect, but I will tell you I’ve never seen another franchisor offer such a service. Being with Eggs Up Grill has been a breath of fresh air on both the services they offer and the fact that they are willing to listen to us. We signed a multi-unit deal for Norfolk, and our first call when it comes time for that second location will be to Miller at TRS.”
For more information on The Retail Strategy, visit www.theretailstrategy.com.
About Eggs Up Grill:
Eggs Up Grill is home to the whole neighborhood, serving smiles from sunup through lunch. The aromas of freshly brewed coffee, savory bacon and hand-cracked, farm-fresh eggs on the griddle and warm, attentive team members will make you feel right at home. We are “neighbors serving neighbors” daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Recently ranked as the number one breakfast franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500® for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power, Eggs Up Grill is experiencing record growth across the Southeast. Originally founded in Pawleys Island, S.C., in 1997 by restaurateur Chris Skodras, Eggs Up Grill now has 46 locations and is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C. In 2018, private equity firm WJ Partners acquired Eggs Up Grill, building the team and priming the brand to rapidly grow in more communities across the U.S. with plans underway to reach the 100-restaurant mark by 2022. For more information, visit https://www.eggsupgrill.com/franchise.