DALLAS, Sept. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a fast-casual, "better burger" chain, is pleased to announce the recent opening of its first international restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on September 1, 2013. Located at the Ibn Battuta Mall, the restaurant is one of four new country launches planned for MOOYAH in the Middle East before year-end.
The Ibn Battuta Mall restaurant is the first of at least 10 restaurants to be owned and operated by AWGAL Investments, which has entered into a multi-unit development agreement with MENAFEX LLC (MENAFEX), MOOYAH's international development partner for the UAE. AWGAL Investments is led by Chairman Abdul-Wahab Galadari and President and CEO Zubair A. Razzaq.
"AWGAL Investments is proud to launch MOOYAH in the UAE," said Razzaq. "We believe the brand stands out in a highly competitive restaurant market. The great quality of the food, fun family nature of the restaurant and regionally based MOOYAH operations team were the driving influences behind our decision to partner with MOOYAH."
Founded in Dallas, Texas, MOOYAH has seen tremendous growth in the last several years, expanding from a Texas brand into an emerging national player and a leader in the growing "better burger" segment of fast-casual dining. The brand is currently in 11 states and has nearly doubled its number of restaurants from 25 to 48 in 2012. In 2013, MOOYAH is continuing its expansion, with plans to grow domestically and abroad, to total nearly 65 restaurants. Internationally, the brand is developing in Canada and Latin America in addition to the Middle East.
"As we come off the heels of our 50th restaurant opening in the U.S., there is no better time than now to expand internationally," said Bill Spae, MOOYAH's CEO and President. "MENAFEX's experience in successful multi-brand support and international development, along with its excellent connections and enthusiasm for the MOOYAH brand, all make MENAFEX the perfect partner to spearhead our growth in the Middle East."
MENAFEX is a uniquely focused company that was founded on the concept of providing complete development strategy, brand adaptation and implementation, along with operations support for food service brands internationally. Its success is also attributed to its support from dedicated, brand-focused personnel in a development region. MENAFEX is led by CEO and President Stephen Getty who, in addition to being a classically trained chef, has more than 20 years of global business operations experience in outsourcing and procurement, as well as quality and efficiency engineering.
"We're thrilled to bring MOOYAH to the Middle East," Getty said. "The concept is fun, the people are great and the focus the brand places on food quality is intense. There's a passion and commitment to excel that you just don't normally find, and we know that the people of the Middle East will love the fresh food and better, customizable burgers that MOOYAH offers its Guests."
Beyond MENAFEX's development for MOOYAH in the UAE, the company has strategic partnerships and expansion plans in place to develop MOOYAH in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar before the end of 2013.
"The MOOYAH brand is special because, while they want to drive sales and grow, they want to have fun and maintain the core brand DNA and quality while doing it," Getty said. "At MENAFEX, we sincerely believe MOOYAH is poised for greater growth. They have established an incredible foundation in the United States, through the strength of their process, solid strategic plan, honest leadership team and commitment to quality in food and operations. These factors, along with great individual country operators, will fuel their growth internationally."
Spae echoed his sentiment noting that MOOYAH began as a simple concept revolving around friendly people serving the freshest, most delicious burgers, fries and shakes available.
"As our brand continues to evolve domestically and internationally, we are committed to keeping it simple, while still relevant to appeal to our Guests' individual tastes and favorites," Spae said.
For more information on the growing brand, follow MOOYAH on Twitter @MooyahBurger and connect with MOOYAH on Facebook at the MOOYAH Burgers & Fries Fan page.
ABOUT MOOYAH BURGERS, FRIES & SHAKES
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is a fast-casual, "better burger" concept serving mouth-watering made-to-order burgers, hand-cut French fries made from high-quality Idaho potatoes, and handcrafted 100-percent ice cream shakes. Founded in 2007, the Plano, Texas-based company only uses fresh, American lean beef and all-natural Jennie-O® turkey burgers, buns baked in house, real cheeses and toppings made from garden-fresh ingredients. It offers online ordering, and a cookout trailer for corporate, social and fundraising events. MOOYAH has been ranked 1st overall in Restaurant Business's 2013 Future 50 list, listed as No. 8 in Fast Casual Magazine's annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers in 2013, a list they have been at the top of for several years in a row, and BurgerBusiness included MOOYAH in its list of "11 Burger Chains to Watch in 2011." The brand was also recognized in USA Today's Top 50 Franchises for Military Veterans in June of 2013. For more information on MOOYAH, its menu or franchising opportunities, please visit www.mooyah.com. Follow MOOYAH on Twitter @MooyahBurger and connect with MOOYAH on Facebook Fan page.
CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Kaminski No Limit Agency 312.526.3996 Lauren@nolimitagency.com
Source: MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes