Moe's Southwest Grill

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Moe's Southwest Grill
Industry Fast casual restaurant
Founded Atlanta, Georgia, United States 2000; 17 years ago (2000)
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Number of locations
600+ ( 2015)
Area served
North America
Key people
Paul Damico (President)[1]
Products Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Stacks, Nachos, Burrito Bowls, White Rice with a southwest seasoning and other Southwestern fare
Parent Focus Brands

Moe's Southwest Grill, referred to informally as Moe's, was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 2000,[2] by Raving Brands. In August 2007, the brand was purchased by Focus Brands.[3] As of 2015, there were about 600 locations in operation in 38 states.[4] As of July 14, 2014 the number of Moe's locations increased to over 600 in the US after signing 120 new franchises in six months.[5] According to the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend survey, Moe's is the "Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant of the Year", passing former top restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill even with fewer than half the number of locations as Chipotle has.[6][7]


Many of the menu items have names drawn from popular culture such as:

  • "Art Vandalay" and "Close Talker" (both from the television series Seinfeld, where "Art Vandalay" refers to George's alias as an architect and importer/exporter. "Close Talker" refers to Elaine's boyfriend who talks unusually close to people.)[8]
  • "Who is Kaiser Salsa", a reference to the infamous and mysterious villain in The Usual Suspects.
  • "El Guapo's Infamous Salsa", named after the villain in the movie Three Amigos.
  • The "Triple Lindy" burrito (no longer on the menu), a reference to the movie Back to School.
  • The "John Coctostan" quesadilla, a reference to the movie Fletch.
  • The "Billy Barou" nachos, a reference to the movie Caddyshack.
  • The "Ruprict" may be a mistaken reference to[weasel words] Steve Martin's character "Ruprecht" in a scene from the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
  • The "Julia Gulia" stack, a reference to the movie The Wedding Singer
  • The "Earmuffs" burrito bowl, a reference to the movie Old School
  • The "Wrong Doug" stack, a reference to the movie The Hangover where the main characters mistake comedian Mike Epps of color named Doug for their Caucasian friend.

International locations[edit]

Garden Hills location
"the very first Moe's on earth"

Moe's has locations in Turkey and Russia. According to the company 'newsroom' website (, franchise partners also exist in Costa Rica [9] and Jamaica.[10]


In 2011 Moe's opened its first location outside the United States in Turkey.[11]


In September 2012 Moe's opened its first Russian franchise[12] located in the center of Moscow near the Kremlin on Pyatnitskaya Street.[13][14]


  1. ^ FOCUS Brands press release, Moe’s Southwest Grill Names Paul Damico as Brand President, May 6, 2008
  2. ^ FOCUS Brands press release, FOCUS Brands to Acquire Moe’s Southwest Grill, April 11, 2007
  3. ^ Minnick, Fred, FOCUS Brands Buys Moe's Southwest Grill, QSR Magazine, April 11, 2007
  4. ^ FOCUS Brands press release, FOCUS Brands and Roark Capital Complete Purchase of Moe's Southwest Grill, August 30, 2007
  5. ^ "Moe's Southwest Grill Inks 120 New Franchise Deals in First Half of 2014". (Press release). July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Harris Poll". Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  7. ^ "This restaurant just unseated Chipotle as the most popular Mexican chain". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  8. ^ McClurg, Kelly (2002-04-12). "Moe's Southwest Grill expanding in local market". Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  9. ^ Matt Levin (November 24, 2012 "With Moe’s, finally a real Burrito in Costa Rica", Retrieved 18 July 2014
  10. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill Opens First Jamaican Location., Retrieved 18 July 2014
  11. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill Opens First International Location in Turkey/., Retrieved 18 July 2014
  12. ^
  13. ^ "13 Pyatnitskaya Street". Google Maps. 
  14. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill to Open 50 Restaurants in Russia., Retrieved 18 July 2014

External links[edit]