How The Eggs Up Grill Leadership Team Provides Exceptional Support and Industry Knowledge For Franchisees

As the breakfast, lunch and brunch brand expands its leadership team, franchisees are positioned more than ever for continued success. 

Since first opening in 1997 in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Eggs Up Grill has been a place where local communities can catch up with family, friends and neighbors over a meal so good, you’d swear it was home-cooked. Eggs Up Grill began franchising in 2008, growing to over 40 locations across the Southeast, making a name for itself by offering a simple and approachable breakfast, brunch and lunch for guests and a proven, streamlined business model for franchisees. More recently, in 2018, private equity firm WJ Partners acquired Eggs Up Grill, equipping the brand to grow in even more communities across the U.S. 

Now, with a robust leadership team in place, franchisees joining the brand have an unprecedented amount of support and attention. 

CEO Ricky Richardson was tapped to lead the brand in July 2018 after serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of TGI Fridays.  Richardson has more than 35 years of restaurant industry experience across multi-unit and franchise operations. Under his leadership, Eggs Up Grill has experienced more than 50 percent growth in the number of open locations.

Eggs Up Grill CEO, Ricky Richardson

“Our Eggs Up Grill team features incredible leaders who not only have in-depth experience in high-growth restaurant environments, but who are also passionate about the brand’s unique culture and business model,” said Richardson. “Combined with the profile of our current and future franchise partners, we have an amazing franchise family and the perfect balance for growth.”

Todd Owen, a recent addition to the executive team is now serving as the brand’s Vice President of Franchise Development. Owen is responsible for leading Eggs Up Grill’s efforts in recruiting qualified franchisees and guiding prospects from inquiry through signing. Owen assists franchisees with developing their strategic growth plans as they reinvest and add new restaurants to their portfolio. With over 20 years of experience helping restaurant brands rapidly grow—including as VP of Franchise Development with Qdoba, during which Owen grew the brand from 60 restaurants to more than 600 locations—Eggs Up Grill is powerfully positioned to support its mission to continue rapid expansion in markets across the U.S. Southeast.

“The brand is consistently growing and we’re excited to introduce Eggs Up Grill into new markets,” said Owen. “Our positive, supportive relationship with our franchise owners is crucial to ensuring their continued success and making the brand one of the fastest-growing in the category. With 18 openings projected for 2020, followed by over 20 new locations slated for 2021, the brand is on the brink of becoming the go-to breakfast, brunch and lunch spot across the Southeast.” 

“Most of our franchisees started as loyal guests and fans of the brand,” said Owen. “Our approach to franchising is all about finding the right partners who are eager to grow with the company and bring quality services to their local community. Beyond this, we make sure to build meaningful relationships with the franchisees and provide all of the tools they require to be successful in the communities they love and serve.”

Vice President of Operations, Jeff McCabe, previously of Five Guys Enterprises, oversees Eggs Up Grill’s comprehensive owner and team training program and ongoing operational support, all of which is coordinated day-to-day through experienced, field-based franchise business consultants.

In July 2019, the brand expanded on this support infrastructure by opening a company-owned location to serve as a dedicated Training Center and Innovation Kitchen. The facility features a new prototype design to elevate the guest experience while testing new products. The design revamps stand at the center of a brand refresh campaign designed to continue driving sales for franchisees.

Tim Eaton, Senior Director of Development, assists with real estate selection and the design and construction process leading up to the opening of an Eggs Up Grill restaurant. Eaton’s impressive background includes positions with Burger King, Panera Bread and Krispy Kreme.

Other members of the team include VP of Finance Andy Wright, who previously served as CFO of Pure Barre, and now plans, implements and manages all financial-related activities for Eggs Up Grill, including systems for reporting and the brand’s point-of-sale (POS) system, Toast, Inc. Last but not least, Marketing Manager Laura Boles brings a background in television media to her present work coordinating brand promotions and helping franchisees plan and implement their grand opening and local marketing strategy.

“Each member of our executive team brings a unique set of skills to the table. We all work closely with our franchisees in order to improve and grow the brand as a whole,” said Richardson. “Whether it be development, training, marketing or technology, we all put a lot of emphasis on investing in the right resources and building strategies to further improve the support we provide our franchise partners.” 

Because of this support and the simplicity of the business model, franchisees aren’t required to have restaurant experience, with roughly 60% of operators coming from a non-restaurant background.

To ensure new franchisees are prepared for their openings, Eggs Up Grill offers a comprehensive owner and team training program that encompasses food safety and standards audits, operational best practices, local and brand marketing, financial performance tools and much more

Ahead of every new restaurant opening, franchisees and operators spend three weeks at the company restaurant in Spartanburg learning how to successfully operate an Eggs Up Grill.  To support the new restaurant opening a team travels to the location ahead of opening day, training team members on brand standards and the Eggs Up Grill culture, ensuring all team members are prepared to provide every guest a uniquely enjoyable experience.   which This training includes a soft-launch day serving friends,family and neighbors, fully preparing the restaurant for opening day.

The support doesn’t stop there. After a restaurant opens, franchise business consultants visit approximately once every six weeks to provide ongoing support. Additionally, Eggs Up Grill has developed a robust service provider network across development, marketing and technology to improve franchisees’ results. 

“What really sets us apart is the open line of communication and ongoing support, not only in the training and initial opening of a location but throughout the entire lifecycle of the restaurant,” said Richardson. “We believe these steps are key to growing strong sales and ensuring success for our franchise partners.”

With an experienced brand team led by CEO Ricky Richardson, industry-leading support infrastructure and proven business model, Eggs Up Grill is on track to open 100 locations by mid-2022. Through investing in infrastructure, development and marketing, the leadership team ensures that the sky’s the limit for Eggs Up Grill.

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. The investment for an Eggs Up Grill franchise ranges from $462,330 to $653,680, including a $39,000 initial franchise fee. For more information on available opportunities, please visit https://www.eggsupgrill.com/franchise