Moe’s Southwest Grill not only serves up build-your-own burritos, tacos, and nachos, but they’re also known for their rockin’ music playlist, pop culture menu, and a franchise base that’s going strong with over 700 locations.

How much does it cost to open a Moe’s Southwest Grill? To franchise Moe’s you’ll need a liquid capital of $300,000 and a net worth of $1,000,000. The investment range for this food chain is $566,300 to $1,585,610 and the franchise fee is $30,500.

Continue reading this guide to find out more about Moe’s and what it takes to franchise them and whether or not the investment is worthwhile based on the average store revenue. Click here to take our 7-minute franchise quiz and find out if this restaurant is right for you.

Financial Requirements and Fees

Here are the financial requirements to franchise a Moe’s Southwest Grill:

Fees / Expenses Financial Amount
Liquid Capital $300,000
Net Worth $1,000,000
Total Investment $566,300 to $1,585,610
Franchise Fee $30,500

Moe’s is also available to franchise internationally as well. The franchise requires a minimum liquid capital of $1,500,000 and a minimum net worth of $2,000,000 though they did state that these numbers may depend slightly based on the market size.

In addition, Moe’s requires a royalty fee of 5% and an ad royalty fee between 2% – 4%. Moe’s does offer a discount for veteran franchisees that’s $10,500 off the franchise fee. The term of agreement to run a Moe’s Southwest Grill is 20 years and the franchise is renewable.

Average Sales / Revenue per Year

According to reports, Moe’s saw global sales of $662 million in 2022 which was a 17.5% sales growth from their 2021 sales of $561 million. This is tremendous year over year revenue growth for a fast-casual chain.

Moe’s Southwest Grill Franchise Facts

Total Units 700+
Incorporated Name Moe’s Southwest Grill
Franchising Since 2001
Industry Fast Casual Restaurant
Subsector Food and Beverage

Moe’s Southwest Grill began in Atlanta in 2000. They were owned by Raving Brands back then before Focus Brands bought them in 2007.

Contrary to what a lot of people thought, Moe is not a person. Moe stands for Musicians, Outlaws, and Entertainers which is the theme of their restaurant. They pay tribute to great musicians who have passed by playing their music in their stores and the art we all love.

As for the Outlaw part, they give their customers freedom to build their own favorite Moe’s item with more than 20 fresh ingredients. For Entertainers, Moe’s menu is filled with pop-culture reference such as their Art Vandelay from the hit television show Seinfeld which is a vegetarian burrito and their First Rule of Chicken Club, a chicken quesadilla.

Moe's Southwest Grill on social media.

Follow Moe’s Southwest Grill on social media.

Other items on Moe’s menu includes build-you-own nachos, tacos, burrito bowls, salads, and Stacks which is like a quesadilla with a hard taco and filling on the inside. Moe’s is also known to give out free chips and salsa with every order and they’re also refillable.

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To franchise a Moe’s Southwest Grill, complete the interest form provided here. Once Moe’s receives your inquiry, they’ll get back to you and discuss the necessary franchise details with you.

What Moe’s looks for in its franchisees are the following qualifications:

  • Multi-unit restaurant ownership expertise
  • Eager to learn new things
  • Has a strong connection to the community.

As for international franchisee qualifications:

  • Multi-unit foodservice, hospitality, or retail operations experience
  • Ability to open multiple locations following a development schedule
  • Local expertise in real estate, marketing, development, project management, human resources and supply chain
  • Capital necessary to develop & support multiple locations
  • Sufficient infrastructure team with growth capabilities

Moe’s is owned by Focus Brands group who also owns Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Carvel Ice Cream, Jamba Juice, and Schlotzsky’s. They’ve made it to Franchise Times’ Top 500 and Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list of 2023.

At present, Tory Bartlett is Moe’s Chief Brand Officer. Their headquarters is located at Atlanta, Georgia.

How Much Does Moe’s Southwest Grill Make in Profit?

According to publicly available data, Moe’s Southwest Grill makes $114,669 on average in profit per store annually. A listing on We Sell Restaurants also reported that one location in the Charlotte Area saw a net income of $67,000 per year for an absentee owner. The unit generated close to $1 million in annual sales according to the business listing.

Advantages of a Moe’s Southwest Grill Franchise

Franchising a Moe’s Southwest Grill near you can bring about several advantages. Here are some of them:

Fresh Ingredients

Moe’s is known for using fresh ingredients. They have over 20 of them such as organic tofu, their handcrafted guac, and their all-natural adobo chicken. They have vegetarian and vegan options, gluten-friendly choices, a nutrient-dense menu, and the ingredients are all sustainable.

Moe's sauce survey

Survey says diners love Moe’s Sauce.

Franchise Area Options

You can have a lot of franchise location options when you decide to sign up with Moe’s:

  • In-line
  • Drive-thru
  • Food Court
  • Travel Hubs
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Freestanding Buildings

With these options, you won’t be limited to starting up just one kind of location for your Moe’s. These different store formats give prospective franchisees a variety of investment options.

Customizable Menu

The build-your-own options at Moe’s makes it an interesting fast casual place to franchise. Not only do customers come to dine at your place but you also get to feature a dining experience they’ll keep on coming back for. Here are some of the ways customers can customize their order at Moe’s Southwest Grill.

  • Customers can choose from a variety of proteins, vegetables, and sauces to create their own custom meal.
  • Diners can choose the size of their meal and whether they want it on a tortilla, bowl, or salad.
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill offers a variety of gluten-free and vegan options so everyone can find something they love.

Growth and Expansion

Moe’s already has their footing in the fast casual scene but that didn’t stop them from growing and expanding the business. For instance, according to QSR Magazine, Moe’s Southwest Grill released a cash back incentive announcement for those interested in franchising with them. “For multi-unit development starting at three plus new commitments, we are going to give cash back incentives of up to $100,000 per location,” is what Chief Development Officer Brian Krause of Focus Brands had to say. This direct contribution is helpful and won’t have franchisees wait for their discounts over time.


Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with a massive burrito.

In addition, Quality Restaurant Group, a group that handles Arby’s and Pizza Hut, acquired 67 franchised locations of Moe’s Southwest Grill. With a management with this much industry experience and financial backing, Moe’s future looks bright.

Challenges of a Moe’s Southwest Grill Franchise

Becoming a Moe’s Southwest Grill franchisee will also come with a variety of challenges. Here are a few you should know about.


Moe’s faces tough competition in the Tex-Mex fast casual scene in the United States. There’s Chipotle with over 3,000 restaurants. There’s also Taco Bell with 7,000 stores. Qdoba comes in next at 700 restaurants. All of these restaurants have their own cult following. Although Moe’s has secured a place in this line-up, they should continue to maintain or even improve their service and menu to be able to keep their place – or better yet, topple over these giants.

You Might Like: How Much Does it Cost (w/ Fees) to Open a Taco Bell? 

Confusing Menu Names

Moe’s has a thing for pop culture references which is evident in the names of their food on their menu. But some of these names can be too long or too confusing. One would have to be well versed with these pop culture references to understand what you’re about to eat without reading the list of ingredients.

Labor costs: The restaurant industry is facing a labor shortage, which has increased labor costs. According to a survey of economists conducted by Reuters, labor costs increased by 4.8% year over year. This is a challenge for Moe’s, as it needs to hire and retain qualified employees in order to operate its restaurants efficiently and cost effectively.

Is the Moe’s Southwest Grill Franchise Right For You?

If it’s a good Tex-Mex fast casual restaurant you’r Moe’s Southwest Grill could be for you. The financial requirements look reasonable although you’ll have to discuss this with your financial advisor some more before you can sign an agreement. Career Bliss reports that a Moe’s owner earns $45,000 annually so make sure to take a step back and reflect on how much net profit you would need to generate annually to make the business venture worth it to you.

What is an alternative Moe’s Southwest Grill franchise?

You can choose to franchise another Tex-Mex chain if you’re not ready to franchise Moe’s. One chain you can look into is Taco Bell. They have over 7,000 locations in the United States and have been franchising since 1964. The brand was also well known internationally with a wide-range of vegan and vegetarian options that appeal to consumers with various dietary needs.

To franchise Taco Bell, expect investments to reach $1.2 million to $2.6 million and the franchise fee is $25,000 to $45,000. Read the franchise analysis of Taco Bell here.

You could be a part of Moe’s Southwest Grill’s growth and expansion if you decide to franchise with them. But if not, you can also check out other Tex-Mex and fast-casual Mexican options to find the best option for you.