Moe's Southwest Grill

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Moe's Southwest Grill
IndustryFast casual restaurant
Founded2000; 19 years ago (2000) in Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Number of locations
700+ (2019)[1]
Area served
United States
Key people
Bruce Schroder (President)
ProductsTacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Stacks, Nachos, Burrito Bowls, White Rice with a southwest seasoning and other Southwestern fare
ParentFocus Brands

Moe's Southwest Grill, referred to informally as Moe's, was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 2000,[2] by Raving Brands. According to the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend survey, Moe's is the "Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant of the Year", passing former top restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill even with fewer than half the number of locations as Chipotle has.[3][4]

The name "Moe's" originated as an acronym for "Musicians, Outlaws and Entertainers," and this theme led to the music-related artwork found in the restaurants.[5]

The company is co-owned — with Schlotzsky's, Carvel, Cinnabon, McAlister's Deli, and Auntie Anne's brands — by Focus Brands, an affiliate of private equity firm Roark Capital Group,[6] based in Sandy Springs, Georgia, operating over 5,000 stores.

Fare names[edit]

Many of the menu items have names drawn from popular culture such as:

  • "Art Vandalay" and "Close Talker" (both from the television series Seinfeld, where "Art Vandalay" refers to George's alias as an architect and importer/exporter. "Close Talker" refers to Elaine's boyfriend who talks unusually close to people.)[7]
  • "Who is Kaiser Salsa", a reference to the infamous and mysterious villain in The Usual Suspects.
  • "El Guapo's Infamous Salsa", named after the villain in the movie Three Amigos.
  • The "Triple Lindy" burrito (no longer on the menu), a reference to the movie Back to School.
  • The "John Coctostan" quesadilla, a reference to the movie Fletch.
  • The "Billy Barou" nachos, a reference to the movie Caddyshack - later renamed "Alright, Alright, Alright" named after a quote from the movie Dazed And Confused.
  • The "Ruprict" may be a reference to Steve Martin's character "Ruprecht" in a scene from the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
  • The "Julia Gulia" stack (no longer on the menu), a reference to the movie The Wedding Singer
  • The "Earmuffs" burrito bowl, a reference to the movie Old School
  • The "Wrong Doug" stack, a reference to the movie The Hangover where the main characters mistake Mike Epps, a black man, for Doug for their Caucasian friend.
  • The "Joey Bag o' Donuts" burrito, is named after the Italian-American slang term for a fat person.
  • Rutters tea.


Moe's offers various types of food on its menu. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads, stacks, burrito bowls, and salsas with more than twenty ingredients are available to customers to create their own unique meal. In 2017, Moe's stopped selling white meat chicken in favor of dark meat. Moe's saved money with the move.[citation needed] These entrees have specific ingredients within it, but ingredients can be added or subtracted from it as the customer customizes their entree. Every order comes with chips and salsa on the side.[8]

International locations[edit]

Garden Hills location
"the very first Moe's on earth"

Moe's has locations in Turkey and Russia. According to the company 'newsroom' website (, franchise partners also exist in Costa Rica [9] and Jamaica.[10]


In 2011 Moe's opened its first location outside the United States in Turkey.[11]


In September 2012 Moe's opened its first Russian franchise[12] located in the center of Moscow near the Kremlin on Pyatnitskaya Street.[13][14]


  1. ^ "FRANCHISE: MOE'S SOUTHWEST GRILL". prnewswire. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  2. ^ FOCUS Brands press release, FOCUS Brands to Acquire Moe’s Southwest Grill, April 11, 2007
  3. ^ "The Harris Poll". Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "This restaurant just unseated Chipotle as the most popular Mexican chain". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "9 Things You Might Not Know About Moe's Southwest Grill". December 27, 2015.
  6. ^ Focus Brands To Buy Cinnabon From AFC Enterprises. New York Times, September 9, 2004
  7. ^ McClurg, Kelly (April 12, 2002). "Moe's Southwest Grill expanding in local market". Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  8. ^ "Mexican & Tex Mex Food Menu: Tacos, Burritos - Moe's Menu". Moes.
  9. ^ Matt Levin (November 24, 2012 "With Moe’s, finally a real Burrito in Costa Rica", Retrieved July 18, 2014
  10. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill Opens First Jamaican Location., Retrieved July 18, 2014
  11. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill Opens First International Location in Turkey/., Retrieved July 18, 2014
  12. ^
  13. ^ "13 Pyatnitskaya Street". Google Maps.
  14. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill to Open 50 Restaurants in Russia., Retrieved July 18, 2014

External links[edit]