Spartanburg-based Eggs Up Grill has started construction on its first company-owned, nonfranchise flagship restaurant that will feature the brand’s new prototype design and will also include a training center and product innovation kitchen.
The 4,500-square-foot space at 551 E. Main St., Spartanburg, is in the Converse Corners shopping center, which is situated across from Converse College and at the entrance of the historic Converse Heights neighborhood.
Demolition at the site was completed in January, construction will begin late February, and the opening is planned for late May to early June, said Ricky Richardson, CEO of Eggs Up Grill.
The breakfast and lunch chain founded by restaurateur Chris Skodras in Pawley’s Island in 1996 changed ownership in 2018.
“After its recent acquisition by the Spartanburg-based private investment firm WJ Partners, the brand moved its headquarters to this thriving small town,” Richardson said. “To be a best-in-class franchiser, we knew we needed a company-owned and -operated restaurant to allow us to be hands-on in every aspect of our business, from development to recruiting and training a top-quality team to successfully execute day-to-day operations, just like our franchise partners do. Having this restaurant, training center, and test kitchen in our backyard allows us to not only serve the Spartanburg community, but to also immerse our new franchise partners in the brand culture and training.”
While typical Eggs Up Grill locations are 2,500-3,500 square feet, this location is 1,000 square feet larger to accommodate the test kitchen and training facility. Those additions will also require five or so more team members than a franchise location, bringing the total employees to around 30. Richardson said they are recruiting for the management roles and will begin hiring additional team members within 45 days of opening.
Guests at this location will also have the opportunity to test new menu items and specialty items before they are offered across the franchise. Richardson said they are putting themselves on a track to test and roll out new products twice a year as well as continue to improve existing dishes and create seasonal specials. The restaurant kitchen will operate independently from the test kitchen, though training will take place in both.
As part of an initiative to refresh the brand, the Spartanburg location will be the first Eggs Up Grill to feature the new prototype design, including a new interior design and decor package.
The space will offer a meeting room that can be used by community groups, as well as classroom space for trainees. There will also be a coffee counter offering hot and cold specialty drinks and the option to purchase grab-and-go food items. Catering and delivery will also be available.
Eggs Up Grill plans to expand across the Southeast, with a goal of doubling its more than 30 restaurants over the next two years. Currently, 14 franchise restaurants are in development, with three to four of those planned for the Upstate. The team has targeted more than 100 secondary and tertiary markets for expansion across the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.
“We are excited to open in the late spring and to begin serving and supporting our Spartanburg community through our company restaurant,” Richardson said. “Eggs Up Grill is not just a great dining option for breakfast and lunch, but also a hub for local activity. We look forward to partnering with the community and serving our neighbors.”
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