Family-friendly hours of operation, a leadership team with proven depth of experience and major growth momentum throughout the Southeastern US are just a few of the ways Eggs Up Grill ensures a strong business opportunity on its menu.
A lucrative, fulfilling business opportunity that also evokes all the warmth and wonder of Sunday breakfast at Grandma’s? It might sound too good to be true—unless you’re talking about Eggs Up Grill. The tasty breakfast, brunch and lunch concept was founded in Pawleys Island, South Carolina in 1997, built on a commitment to serving as a community gathering place where guests can catch up with family and friends over a filling and flavorful meal. Since 1997, Eggs Up Grill has made a name for itself as the brand whereby neighbors serve up smiles from sunup through lunch.
Backed by a majority stake investment by WJ Partners in 2018, Eggs Up Grill has grown impressively through franchising, now with 40 locations open across the Southeast, a recently signed deal for nine more in North Carolina and 15 to 20 slated for opening in 2020. The acquisition bolstered the Eggs Up Grill executive team, priming the brand to rapidly grow in more communities across the U.S. and with plans underway to reach the 100-location mark by 2022.
Multi-unit signings in Wilmington, North Carolina, Ocala, Florida and Savannah, Georgia are propelling the brand’s growth, along with more recent signings in Tampa, Florida, Ft. Mill, South Carolina and Gastonia, North Carolina. The brand’s sizzling growth and development hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. Eggs Up Grill was recently recognized on FSR Magazine’s List of Emerging Breakfast Chains and also landed a spot on Franchise Times’ Top 200+ List for 2019.
Hungry for more? Eggs Up Grill CEO Ricky Richardson sat down with 1851 to shine light on just what makes Eggs Up Grill such a sunny-side investment—and why qualified candidates shouldn’t wait to join.
A Proven and Family-Friendly Operational Model
With operating hours from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Eggs Up Grill offers franchisees an enviable work-life balance. Not only do the hours of operation keep franchisees free to stay involved in their communities and spend time with family and loved ones, but the brand itself embodies the home-grown atmosphere of a true neighborhood mainstay.
From a business standpoint, Eggs Up Grill offers strong unit-level economics and a track record of success. Its day part attracts business-minded investors looking to add a brand with a proven model to their portfolios. Additionally, many franchisees came to the brand as guests who loved the experience, product and community feel—67% of Eggs Up Grill franchisees, in fact, were loyal fans of the brand before hatching their own Eggs Up business as owners, and many without prior restaurant experience. That magnetic guest appeal translates to a brand driven by, and growing as a direct result of, its loyal fanbase.
Excellent Third-Party Validation and Reviews
Franchise candidates don’t need to rely on Eggs Up Grill’s opinions of its own business model when doing their due diligence. The brand’s guests provide five-star reviews because the experience that they have while in the restaurant is just that—exceptional. In addition to glowing online reviews, franchisees serve as fantastic validators of the brand and continue to re-invest in the opportunity, which speaks volumes to the business opportunity.
Just take North Carolina-based brothers Rob and Scott Johnson, who launched two Eggs Up Grill locations in under three years and have signed on for a third location for 2020. After Scott visited the Mount Pleasant, South Carolina Eggs Up Grill he was so blown away by the friendly team and welcoming atmosphere that he asked to speak with the owner before calling his brother, Rob, from the parking lot.
“I liked how comfortable and warm it felt. It was so much different than other brands,” Scott shared. “I called Rob from the parking lot before I even left and said, ‘Hey, I found a place we should talk about.’”
From there, it was a (pan)cake walk.
Exceptional Franchisee Support, From Grand Opening to the Day-to-Day
Eggs Up Grill’s executive team works closely with its franchisees in order to improve and grow the brand as a whole. There is an open line of communication and ongoing support between franchisees and their franchise business consultant—assigned from day one to support and guide new owners through the ramping and launch process. Eggs Up Grill’s franchise business consultants are not only involved in franchisee training and a given location’s initial opening, however; they stay directly tapped in throughout the entire lifecycle of the restaurant to ensure its success and the success of the franchise partner.
In addition to built-in consulting services, Eggs Up Grill franchisees also enjoy an extensive pool of resources and support from the leadership team. From the moment they sign on, Eggs Up Grill franchisees gain access to an executive support program that encompasses franchisee and team member training, food safety controls, operational best practices, local and brand marketing, financial performance tools and much more. Additionally, Eggs Up Grill has developed a robust service provider network across development, marketing and technology to improve franchisees’ results.
Ahead of every new restaurant opening, franchisees and operators train for three weeks at the company restaurant in Spartanburg, SC focusing on front- and back-of-house operations, technology, marketing, and the day-to-day details that go into operating a successful restaurant. The week prior to opening, a team supports the restaurant by training team members and preparing them for opening day. The week concludes with a soft launch for family and friends giving the team the experience they for the grand opening. After a restaurant opening, Consultants visit once a quarter to ensure ongoing success.
A Proven Business Model With Strong Returns
Eggs Up Grill doesn’t just serve up hospitality—noteworthy returns are also on the menu.
Per the brand’s 2019 franchise disclosure document (FDD), Eggs Up Grill enjoys impressive average unit volumes, or AUVs. Average restaurant sales for the system range from $980,871 to $922,102*, depending on the number of years across which the restaurant has been operating.
CEO Ricky Richardson, who has been leading the brand since July 2018 after more than 35 years of restaurant industry experience across multi-unit and franchise operations, spoke to the more than 50-percent growth the brand has enjoyed since he took the helm.
According to Richardson, the health of the business is directly related to the harmonious relationship between franchisor and franchisee.
“Our Eggs Up Grill executive team comes with in-depth experience with growth-oriented restaurant brands, so they have the acumen and experience to drive sustainable development as we expand,” explained Richardson. “However, a franchise is nothing without passionate franchisees—and that’s what Eggs Up Grill is all about. I’m incredibly motivated by the fact that over 60% of our franchise system is comprised of regulars who so loved the delicious fare and friendly atmosphere of the brand that they had to sign on as franchise partners. That’s the right recipe for growth. And more importantly over 50% of our growth comes from existing franchisees opening new restaurants as they grow their Eggs Up Grill business.”
Eggs Up Grill’s growth trajectory only seems to be lengthening, with multi-unit signings and new markets slated for 2020, in line with the brand’s goal of 15 to 20 new locations in the new year. This means that now is the time to sign on as an Eggs Up Grill franchisee and to scoop up a territory of choice before they’re tapped out.
“We see incredibly happy guests, new guests coming into the system and a wave of new franchise partners steadily coming onboard,” said Richardson. “This really speaks to the stability of our 20-plus-year-old brand and the strength of the core business. Of the 18 locations we currently have in development for 2020, about 40% are from existing franchisees who are adding to their portfolio. That means a business with real longevity.”
A Community-Focused Mission
Each and every Eggs Up Grill location has a strong connection to its local community. At Eggs Up Grill, guests will always experience genuine hospitality from people who live in their community and who they come to know and trust. Due to Eggs Up Grill’s high team member retention rate, guests can expect to be greeted by their same server, meaning a friendly face that knows their names and how they like their eggs.
That commitment to community is exactly what drew in multi-unit Zaxby’s franchisee and Shuckin’ Shack owner Brad Harper. When Harper shared with Shuckin’ Shack CEO Jonathan Weathington that he was interested in breaking into the breakfast segment, Weathington pointed the hospitality-focused Harper in the direction of Eggs Up Grill.
“He compared it to eating breakfast with your grandfather and I was instantly sold,” Harper said. “I visited one in Albany, Georgia and it won me over. The owner and I spent an hour chatting. I loved the warm welcome and attentive service the restaurant had provided; it encompassed all the feel-good words. And the food was terrific as well.
Knowing that Eggs Up Grill offered him exactly the type of community-serving business opportunity he was seeking, he signed on to eventually open three in the Sunshine State, with the first in Florida’s Ocala market.
*Consult Item 19 of our franchise disclosure document for more detailed information.
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 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://www.eggsupgrill.com/franchise/.