As you probably know by now, I’m writing a book about/with Kenney Moore, the founder and president of Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries. It’s a great and inspiring story about chasing the American Dream and growing a great business after starting life with nothing and surviving all kinds of insane hardship, especially one’s own demons, and all that good stuff. Here’s a page that tells you more about it.
More excitingly: Hwy 55 was just named one of the best restaurant franchises in the country by Franchise Business Review. The Number Three Best Franchise, to be precise. And not only that, but a couple of Hwy 55 franchisees provide the foundation for the mag’s lengthy feature titled “Food Franchising: A Look At The Top Brands And What It Takes To Be Successful.” A preview:
Carol and Ryan Tucker’s journey to Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries franchise ownership didn’t involve the traditional due diligence that’s often part of the franchise search process. Ryan’s “due diligence” started as a minimum wage cook in the Hwy 55 system while he was in college pursing a marketing degree. He eventually worked his way from cook to assistant manager to manager to owner with his wife, Carol, who started in the Hwy 55 system as a waitress.
“After I graduated from college, I went on a cruise. They brought me up on a stage for something and I told them the cruise was my celebration for graduating. They asked what I was going to do for a career, and I said, ‘I am going to flip burgers the rest of my life.’ The guy jokingly said, ‘You can do that now but you’ll find something else,” and I said, ‘No, I am serious. I am going to flip burgers the rest of my life and own that place.’ Thirteen years later, I own three of them,” Ryan said.
This just made me really happy to see this morning. I grew up eating Hwy 55 burgers back when the company was called Andy’s, and now that I know what it’s really taken for Kenney to build and sustain and now grow this company, I have such a deep respect and appreciation for what he’s done. And yeah I’m being all earnest and whatnot here, but I can’t help it. I’m pretty sure my heart’s just a big ball of cheese.
Anyway, when you know Kenney’s story as well as I do, when you finally get to read this book, you’ll understand why — you’ll know just how huge and how impossible this really was.
And really, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they become one of the most popular restaurant chains in the world sometime soon. I mean, they just started franchising outside of North Carolina and already they’ve opened stores in Abu Dhabi and Toronto, and they have franchisees committed to opening like 1,000 more in the near future around the country in Ohio and Texas and all over the place and all over the world. And how it’s all happened —
Ahhhhh! I can’t give stuff away.
But I cannot wait for this book to come out.
And man, I’m starting to sound like a commercial. Sorry. I’m just excited. As a young writer, this was a just amazing opportunity and I’ll be grateful to Kenney the rest of my life for taking a chance on me and the story, man, the story is so good.
And speaking of which — back to work.