After discovering the breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant, Scott called his older brother Rob about franchising before even leaving the parking lot.
Eggs Up Grill is a neighborhood spot for All-American flavor and freshness. It’s no wonder the family-friendly franchise is a fitting business venture for a couple of brothers.
Rob and Scott Johnson were born in Tennessee and Maryland, respectively, moving around a bit with their mother and eldest brother, Dave, thanks to their father’s Air Force career.
“We’ve always been close,” said Scott, who is five years younger than Rob. “He’s put up with me for a long time now.”
That close relationship eventually led the brothers to the idea of starting a business together. “We had both worked in telecom for most or all of our careers. After going through the dot-com boom and bust, we were tired of the whole corporate thing,” said Rob. “Scott was the one who brought up that we should do something together.”
In the summer of 2015, Scott was on an extended weekend fishing trip with his family in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina when they stopped to have breakfast at Eggs Up Grill. He was blown away by the friendly team and home-grown atmosphere of the franchise—he even spoke with the owner. Then he called Rob from the parking lot.
“I liked how comfortable and warm it felt. It was so much different than other chains,” said Scott. “I called Rob from the parking lot before I even left and said, ‘Hey, I found a place we should talk about.’”
The Johnsons began their due diligence immediately. After researching Eggs Up Grill’s business model and getting familiar with the Fuquay- Varina, North Carolina trade area as the location of their first restaurant, according to Rob, “all the boxes were checked.”
The Johnsons opened their initial Eggs Up Grill in May of 2016, and there’s been no looking back. Scott currently heads up that restaurant, while Rob began operating their second location, in Holly Springs, when it opened in January of 2019.
“Eggs Up Grill was a perfect fit for what we wanted to do,” said Rob.
With operating hours from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every day, Eggs Up Grill offers a flexible opportunity for franchisees. Scott was particularly drawn to the chance to spend more time with his three kids. “It has given me the opportunity to not travel as much and be at home at night to help with homework and take my kids to soccer practice,” said Scott.
Eggs Up Grill also offers a chance for Scott’s kids to get involved in the business. “My kids come in on the weekends,” he said. “My middle son, who is 15, works at the restaurant with me. It’s been great to both give my kids an opportunity to work and also spend time in that environment together. I really enjoy that aspect.”
Rob admits that while he was initially apprehensive about the public aspect of running a business, he has been pleasantly surprised by how much he enjoys it. “Our guests have been fantastic,” he said. “I didn’t anticipate loving the fact that I get to know our regulars. I love getting to know our team members, too. It’s a fun environment.”
Rob and Scott also say they have derived new meaning by contributing positively to their local communities. “You’re just a blip at a corporation. While you have an impact in your immediate environment, it’s harder to make a big impact on people’s lives,” said Scott. “It gives me satisfaction that we pay people as much as we possibly can and that we have given a lot of people a good working environment. I’m sure they could get jobs elsewhere, but the fact that we get to provide them with a quality place to work brings us a lot of satisfaction.”
From a parking lot phone call to multi-unit ownership, Eggs Up Grill has given the Johnson brothers the career they have always wanted.
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 no. 1 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., by restaurateur Chris Skodras, Eggs Up Grill now has 47 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 2023. For more information, visit eggsupgrill.com.