Huey Magoo’s is second ‘that’s it?’ brand for CEO
Just chicken tenders? That’s it?
It’s a valid question, and Huey Magoo’s CEO Andy Howard asked a similar one in the early days at his former company, Wingstop. Just chicken wings?
But as is quite apparent by the incredible success of Chick-fil-A and Raising Cane’s, a minute menu with a singular focus can work really, really well.
Howard said the idea started forming back at Wingstop, when his own success sent chicken wing prices into the stratosphere.
“I had this crazy idea to put in a boneless wing,” said Howard. “They thought I was crazy. But it was enormously successful, grew to five, 10, 30 percent of sales—some stores are at 50 percent. And it was a safety play.”
After his tenure at Wingstop, Howard was looking for his next act.
“I said, I want to find a small emerging brand and hopefully build into a nice national chain,” said Howard. “By happenstance, I came across Huey Magoo’s. It was not for sale at the time but with a little convincing I was able to buy it.”
The brand is still in its early stages, with nine locations open in Florida. But with 50 franchised units sold, Howard has some big goals for the pipeline. On the way, the company is tweaking a few things, emphasizing non-traditional spaces that earn close to the $1.25 million average volume seen in strip centers. It has also completed a new drive-thru prototype, a project driven by potential franchisees.
“A lot of requests we get are from operators who have other brands, and they think we’re leaving 30, 40, 50 percent of sales on the table. This was not on my roadmap, but I listened,” said Howard, noting that the first drive-thru location will open in August.