It’s the Saturday evening after Thanksgiving and already several homes and businesses in Frisco, Texas, are adorned with Christmas lights. My friends and I drive through a shopping center, on the hunt for a dinner worthy of skipping Thanksgiving leftovers. Specifically, we’re searching for the bright red glow and unmistakably playful letters spelling MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes.
Earning the number 11 slot on Fast Casual Magazine’s 2017 Top 100 Movers & Shakers list, MOOYAH is well recognized as a standout.
“We’ve been about quality since day one,” says Natalie Anderson-Liu, MOOYAH’s vice president of marketing. “We are so proud of our food and we’re confident that consumers are going to love it because the quality is so high, that we then have a ton of fun with it.”
According to the franchise’s website, the restaurant is “a place where Certified Angus Beef ® and a chalkboard drawing wall can comfortably coexist.” Intrigued, I set out to take part in the coexistence.
Walk through MOOYAH’s front doors and forget passive. The waitstaff has already taken note of you, offering a friendly welcome. The place is abuzz with laughter and conversation that enhances its lighthearted atmosphere. And the menu features burgers made from the world’s leading brand of fresh beef.
Before launching with the brand just over a year ago, Anderson-Liu and other MOOYAH execs visited the CAB Culinary Center in Wooster, Ohio, to learn more.
“We got an in-depth look at what those 10 science-based specifications look like,” says Anderson-Liu. “It was the specifications that really struck me. And then the heritage aspect of it, with the ranching families. The passion of the team is really what energized me to come back here and make sure that we’re telling the story appropriately,” she adds.
“I used to think why do we need to put their logo on things? What does it matter?” She says, “Then I learned and thought, ‘Wow. This logo is very, very powerful.’ And since then, we put it on everything.”
She’s not exaggerating—even the napkin holders boast the mark.
Perhaps it was an easy decision because the brands have a shared commitment to quality, and that lends creditability to MOOYAH’s “Seriously Fun,” mantra.
“We can’t have the fun without the serious,” she says. “We cannot say, ‘Hey, come play with your food. Have an awesome experience at MOOYAH. You’re going to love the burger. We are focused on quality,’ without having some proof points. And that’s what Certified Angus Beef brand provides.”
Consumers can find the same logo at grocery stores and can see it’s a premium product. That’s another way CAB “contributes to why we have such a huge fan base of people who love our burgers,” says Anderson-Liu.
Her theory holds true in my case, as my association with the brand is how I discovered MOOYAH.
And now there is no going back. Indeed, there was a synergy between the high-caliber food and chalkboard doodles that made our dining experience way more enjoyable than a trip to any old fast-food chain. As my friends and I walk out the front doors, our “hanger” settled and taste buds satisfied, I can’t help but brainstorm what I’ll order on my next visit.
May your day be bright and your smile brighter,