Huey Magoo’s Starts Spreading Its Wings
The newest location of Huey Magoo's Chicken Tenders in Lake Mary, Florida.
Back in March Andy Howard said, “the sky’s the limit of what we can do with this little brand.” Howard, the former Wingstop executive vice president who helped grow that chicken chain from 80 stores to more than 600, was speaking at the Franchise Times Finance and Growth Conference as the new CEO of Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders, which he’d bought along with fellow former Wingstop execs Michael Sutter, Wes Jablonski and Bill Knight. That sky is still a ways off, but the tender-focused concept added three locations in seven months, including its most recent October opening in Lake Mary, Florida.
From its beginnings as a single unit near the University of Central Florida, Huey Magoo’s has grown to seven restaurants, all franchised except this newest location just north of Orlando, the first corporate-owned store for the brand. The brand’s co-founders, Matt Armstrong and Thad Hudgens—who both stayed on after the sale—are running the restaurant along with VP of Operations Mike Sutter.
It’s part of a strategy to expand around Huey Magoo’s home base with a new design prototype that debuted in April and features a sleeker, more industrial look with natural woods and images of farm fields and smiling customers. As the brand ramps up its franchise sales throughout Florida—its two other recent openings in Orlando are run by franchisees Al Dhanani and Amir Dhanji, who also have the Oviedo location—each new location will have the refreshed design.
While it’s too soon to tell if Howard will “strike gold again” as he said he did with Wingstop, we’re watching to see how high Huey Magoo’s can fly.