Back in July, we introduced you to Charles and LaVondra Coleman, two of the newest MOOYAH burger Franchise Owners. At that time, the Colemans were excitedly sourcing the location where the first of their three planned Baton Rouge, Louisiana locations, as reported by an article in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. However, the universe sometimes works in mysterious ways. In an unexpected twist of burger franchise fate, the Colemans found themselves taking over an existing Baton Rouge MOOYAH location on Siegen Lane, complete with Team Members, regular customers and (of course) seriously good food! The Colemans sat down with us for an interview so they could bring us up to speed on their accelerated track to franchise ownership.
“A little bit’s changed since we first spoke,” Charles ‘Chas’ Coleman says at the beginning of the interview. As it turns out, that’s a bit of an understatement—the couple, who initially anticipated a Grand Opening date of February 2020, was already celebrating the one-month anniversary of purchasing a Baton Rouge MOOYAH hamburger restaurant for sale. However, this little plot twist doesn’t mean that the Colemans won’t be opening their planned MOOYAH location soon. “We still have the franchise rights for the new development,” explained Chas. “An opportunity came up for us to purchase the Siegen Lane location, and we took it.”
One month in, the Colemans have adapted nicely to their change in plans, and have relished the opportunity to connect with the staff of MOOYAH Team Members they joined in late October. Both Chas and LaVondra feel that, despite a few challenges early in their acquisition of the hamburger restaurant, the bugs have all been worked out, leaving a cohesive, cooperative team of MOOYAH all-stars! “So far for me, I think the best part is getting to know different skill sets and talents each person brings to the table,” says Chas, adding, “They’re a very diverse group in terms of what they can do: how they handle the grill, how they contribute to Guest satisfaction. It’s been very interesting to me to see all the unique skills in each member of the team.”
LaVondra agrees, adding that seeing Team Members’ personalities come into full view has been one of her favorite parts of the process. “At first, some of the people kind of had introverted personalities, but once we got to know each other, a lot of them started to open up. We’re still learning from them, but what amazes me is the way they let us teach them.” Both LaVondra and Chas are impressed by the number of new responsibilities that their team has taken on in such a relatively short time, as well as pleased with their staff’s commitment to world-class service and excellent customer relations.
Of course, acquiring an existing hamburger restaurant for sale can come with its challenges. “Every time you go through a change, it’s going to be challenging,” notes Chas. In some ways, Franchise Owners and Team Members alike were presented with a new set of challenges as they wiped the slate clean and welcomed a fresh start. “We went through a training mode where we spent a month training the staff how to do things the MOOYAH way,” he recalls. The outcome of this training has longtime MOOYAH customers taking notice of the positive changes the Colemans have begun to institute. Chas says, “We’ve received tons of compliments from Guests; they can tell something is different, something is better.”
One thing that has stayed the same during the Siegen Lane MOOYAH burger franchise location changed hands, notes LaVondra, is the tremendous enthusiasm, love and support from the community members who love our burgers, fries & shakes. “I don’t think we skipped a beat with them!” she exclaims. “The employees say they see new faces in here that they’ve never seen before, and there are still the same regulars who are coming in. We must be doing something right to get all these new people here! We’ve gotten so many great reviews, not only from the mouths of people who have eaten here, but we get a chance to table-touch and see how the meal is going, and they always compliment us on how things are different and better.”
Not only have the Colemans fine-tuned a few of the processes that can turn a good MOOYAH restaurant into a GREAT one, but they have made it a point to uphold a few of the beloved policies carried over from the previous Franchise Owner. This includes the time-honored MOOYAH tradition of shouting a boisterous welcome to all who enter, as well as allowing satisfied Guests to ring a cowbell upon their departure to show how much they enjoyed their meal, which is then answered by a hearty ‘THANK YOU!’ from the MOOYAH staff. The bell-ringing ritual was already in practice when the Colemans purchased the Siegen Lane location, and they loved it so much that they decided to beef it up…pun intended! “Our predecessors did a great job of keeping that tradition alive, and we just got involved and reinvigorated it,” says Chas.
The Colemans aren’t just receiving positive Guest feedback in person; they’ve also been receiving some serious social media love since they acquired their MOOYAH burger franchise. “We’ve received quite a bit of uptick on social media activity,” Chas notes. “People are sharing what has so far been great experiences, and we’re seeing new people come in based on social media recommendations and shares.”
When we first met the Colemans, both Chas and LaVondra mentioned that they were excited to use their status as MOOYAH Franchise Owners to help give back to the community through partnerships with local groups, and the couple didn’t waste any time fulfilling that promise! Shortly after taking over ownership of the Siegen Lane location, Chas and LaVondra partnered with a local outreach program to collect Halloween candy for U.S. soldiers overseas. In addition to his role with MOOYAH, Chas is the managing attorney of Chas Coleman Law Firm, where he participates in several programs to contribute to the good of the communities, including an anti-bullying program in conjunction with local schools, as well as Free Legal Fridays, when he offers legal counsel free of charge. “We’ve always been committed to an economic circle where we’ve contributed back to the communities that support us,” Chas says of the Colemans’ philanthropic efforts. “I think it’s a function of us coming from humble beginnings, and knowing that a helping hand can go a long way.”
Charles and LaVondra Coleman have already established themselves as successful MOOYAH Franchise Owners, and we can’t wait to see how well they do with their future endeavors! We’re proud to have them in the MOOYAH family. If you’re in the Baton Rouge area, be sure to stop by the Siegen Lane MOOYAH burger franchise location and say hi!
The Colemans have realized their dream of owning a successful MOOYAH burger franchise & now it’s your turn! If you can see yourself at the helm of the tastiest, most FUN burger franchise in your community, you just may be an ideal fit for MOOYAH. Visit our franchise website to learn how to begin your Education Process.