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9 Jan

Chicken tender chain expands into South Florida, seeks franchisees

Huey Magoo’s, an Orlando-based fast-casual restaurant chain, is looking for more franchisees and locations after securing an area development deal for parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Local franchisees Tyler and Bob Cafferty are expected to open the eatery’s first tri-county area store in 1,875 square feet at 9440 West Commercial Blvd. in Sunrise by June 2019. They have agreed to open five stores within the next five years between Yamato Road in Palm Beach County to the north and Commercial Boulevard in Broward County to the south.

They are seeking additional sites between 1,800 and 2,000 square feet in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Sunrise, North Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Coconut Creek, Margate and Tamarac. Ideal locations are on end caps at strip centers with street visibility, said Huey Magoo’s CEO Andy Howard. The brand prefers spaces with outdoor seating that are close to colleges and K-12 schools.

“We think South Florida is going to be an exceptional market,” Howard said.

Howard, a Hollywood resident, is the former executive VP of Wingstop Inc., a publicly traded restaurant chain with about 1,000 locations. In May 2015, Howard purchased Huey Magoo’s when it had three locations from Matt Armstrong and Thad Hudgens, who remain partners and franchisees of the business.

Huey Magoo’s has seven total locations open in Florida and Georgia, with another seven stores expected to open this year. Its only corporate-owned store is in Lake Mary.

Multiple former Wingstop executives make up Huey Magoo’s executive team and board of directors, including Michael Sutter, the former VP of training for Wingstop who is now Huey Magoo’s chief operations officer; and Shawn Lawler, former international training manager for Wingstop who is now Huey Magoo’s district operations manager.

Wingstop’s former CFO, COO and VP of Finance Thomas RobertsWes Jablonski and Bill Knight, respectively, are on Huey Magoo’s board.

The chain has development deals in place for 50 more stores, Howard said.

The typical cost of opening a Huey Magoo’s is 338,380 to $569,800, including a franchise fee of $35,000. Franchisees are expected to have a minimum of $250,000 in liquid assets and a net worth of $750,000 per location. The brand’s annual royalty fee is five percent and its marketing fee is 2 percent of gross sales, according to Huey Magoo’s website. About 30 people are hired for each store.

Huey Magoo’s serves breaded and grilled chicken tenders with sides, on sandwiches and on salads.

As mentioned at Biz Journals