The brand’s multi-layered approach sets franchise candidates on a path to success from the moment they show initial interest in the brand to opening their first Eggs Up Grill.
The smell of fresh coffee, the sound of sizzling bacon, the aroma of sweet pancakes and the joy of laughter coming from tables across a bustling dining room—a visit to Eggs Up Grill not only provides guests a delicious meal, but it’s also a warm and welcoming atmosphere and the hub of the neighborhood. The breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, founded in Pawleys Island, South Carolina in 1997 was built on a commitment to provide communities a gathering place for great food and great conversation, from sunup to lunch. That’s why Eggs Up Grill is experiencing strong growth momentum, which now includes more than 40 franchised locations across the Southeastern U.S.
The brand, which was acquired by WJ Partners in 2018, is focused on growing with franchisees who share the same community and hospitality values that have created a magnetic appeal for guests in neighborhoods across the Southeast. Once potential franchisees are introduced to the brand, the clearly-defined discovery process is designed to give them a complete evaluation of Eggs Up Grill, ensuring the concept is the right fit for them.
So, what exactly are the steps to becoming an Eggs Up Grill franchisee, and what can prospects expect from the process?
After a prospective franchisee shows interest in Eggs Up Grill, the franchise development team reaches out with a phone call to welcome them into the process. During this phone call, the prospect will walk the development team through their background, why they’re interested in Eggs Up Grill and goals for their franchise ownership. They will also gain a better understanding of Eggs Up Grill, the individuals supporting the brand, and what this experience will entail in order to ensure that the opportunity is right for them.
According to Eggs Up Grill’s Vice President of Franchise Development Todd Owen, the initial “high-level” introductory call, offers a chance for the Eggs Up Grill team and prospective franchisee to get to know each other. This initial call is where the prospect learns all about the brand: from the Eggs Up Grill mission and vision statement, to available markets, necessary investment and other associated costs, and the short- and long-term goals for the business.
“The ultimate success of our franchisees is our success too,” Owen said. “This call is a way to see whether someone fits what we are looking for in viable candidates.”
So, just what does the ideal Eggs Up Grill franchisee look like?
The ideal Eggs Up Grill franchisee possesses an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for results and an eagerness to drive growth. Additionally, as neighborhood and community engagement is a key part of Eggs Up Grill’s success, the ideal candidate is someone willing to commit to actively engaging with their local community. In regards to monetary requirements, prospects must have a minimum liquidity of $150,000 and $500,000 in assets.
Brand education call and FDD review
As the process moves forward, there will be more in-depth discussions designed to educate the prospect about the brand. “Our ongoing discussions allow us to take a deep dive into the brand,” Owen explained. “We go over who we are as a brand, our strengths, how we set ourselves apart from the competition, the vision of the company, where we want the company to go in the future, the tools and systems of support we’ll provide—the whole nine yards.”
In addition to the brand education, the Eggs Up Grill team walks through the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) with the prospect, making sure they understand its components and the commitment to the brand each of us has committed to making.
Fill out an application
Eggs Up Grill potential franchisees will fill out an application. The application allows the Eggs Up Grill team to get a definitive picture of the qualifications of the potential franchisee and the aspirations they have with the brand.
During this part of the process, Owen encourages prospects to continue their own due diligence, visiting local Eggs Up Grill restaurants; and by speaking with current franchisees and asking them questions about their experience with the brand. “The Eggs Up Grill team provides a lot of content on franchising, both in general and with the brand, so that the candidate can do their own research,” he said. “We have expectations that they are educating themselves on the business beyond our introductory and brand phone calls.”
It’s important for prospects to conduct their own research during this stage, which includes online research, via the brand’s franchise development page and other similar sites; visiting local Eggs Up Grill restaurants; and by speaking with current franchisees and asking them questions about their experience with the brand.
If the Eggs Up Grill team believes there would be a good fit between the prospect and Eggs Up Grill, the application will be approved and the prospect will be invited to Egg Day—Eggs Up Grill’s version of Discovery Day. “Up until this point, the franchise development team has been the face of the company in this ‘mutual selection process,’” Owen said. “Once Egg Day comes around, the franchise development team takes a step back and lets members of the brand’s leadership team share more about Eggs Up Grill and how their functional expertise helps support franchisees.”
On Egg Day, prospects learn all about , real estate/construction, supply chain, operations, marketing training and the technology we use to tie it together. Prospects also get the opportunity to sit down with Eggs Up Grill’s CEO Ricky Richardson and better understand the brand, the business and our commitment to success.
During this session, prospects will also present their business plan to the Eggs Up Grill team, elaborating on the reasons they believe this opportunity aligns with their aspirations.
Ken Bates, Eggs Up Grill franchisee in the Eastern Tennessee market, said that his favorite part of the discovery process was getting to know the development and brand teams on Egg Day. “The process of Egg Day and everything in between was really straightforward and helpful,” Bates said.
According to Owen, after Egg Day takes place, we allow for a time of reflection and should both the candidate and the brand teams feel it’s the right match we’re just about done aAt this point, it’s a mutual understanding that everyone is on the same page.” he said.
Sign the franchise agreement
The last step in the process of becoming an Eggs Up Grill franchisee is to sign the franchise agreement.
According to Owen, the timeline for this process typically takes around 3 to 8 months. In franchisee Ken Bates’ case, “from the time I first inquired about the process to the signing of the franchise agreement was about 7 months.”
The discovery process is an important one for both prospects and the Eggs Up Grill development and executive teams. “The goal of the discovery process is to set up the best possible relationship between all parties,” Owen said.
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.