ATLANTA, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Moe's Southwest Grill®, the fast-growing restaurant franchise best known for its flavorful southwest fare, has signed a deal to bring 18 new restaurants to Sacramento and Santa Cruz over the next seven years. This is Moe's first push into California and is a crucial part of the Atlanta-based brand's westward expansion plans.
HKM II, LLC of Roseville, Calif., headed by David Mitchell, Matt Karadanis and Rob Whittey, is the award-winning franchise group behind the California expansion. They also own 42 quick-serve burger restaurants throughout Northern California, Southern Nevada and Arizona.
The first Moe's location is slated to open in the Sacramento area by spring of 2014. Possible sites are currently being negotiated. Overall, 14 locations are planned for the greater Sacramento region and four around Santa Cruz and the central coast. The new restaurants will help boost local economies by adding approximately 25 new jobs per location – an estimated 450 jobs total across the state upon completion.
"We have been looking to diversify and expand our restaurant portfolio, and right now fast-casual Mexican is a hot segment," said Mitchell. "Moe's is making all the right moves and it became readily apparent that this is a formidable brand to grow with at this time. We want to corner the Sacramento market and go from there, and we know Moe's will do well in California."
HKM II is owned by the Karadanis family, which has a diversified portfolio including apartments, mini-storage facilities and shopping centers. Whittey has been employed by the Karadanis family as Chief Financial Officer for more than 25 years, and Mitchell joined the group in 2000, eventually being appointed to Chief Operating Officer in 2005 in charge of directing company growth.
"I trust HKM will be a reliable, hard-working franchise partner and we're excited that they'll be introducing Moe's to an area of the country that is completely new for our brand," said Moe's President Paul Damico. "Expanding West is a focal point for us in the upcoming year."
All meals, including signature items like the Homewrecker burrito, Close Talker salad and John Coctostan quesadilla, are served with free chips and salsa. While Moe's is best known for its burritos packed with a choice of more than 20 fresh ingredients, the menu also features kid's, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-friendly options.
Moe's was recently ranked the No. 1 Mexican food concept by leading research group Technomic in 2013. This deal is part of Moe's strategic growth plan to increase its existing presence to a total of 800 locations nationwide by the end of 2015.
About Moe's Southwest Grill®
Welcome to Moe's! Founded in 2000 in Atlanta, Ga., Moe's Southwest Grill is a fast-casual restaurant franchise featuring fresh, handmade, customizable southwestern food in a welcoming environment that rocks. Moe's is committed to serving only the highest quality ingredients 100% of the time at our 500 locations in the U.S. While Moe's is best known for its burritos packed with a choice of more than 20 fresh, flavorful ingredients, the menu also features kid's, vegetarian and low-calorie options, all served with free chips and salsa. Check out Moe's online at www.moes.com.
SOURCE Moe's Southwest Grill