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Moe’s Southwest Grill unveiling ‘The Oasis’ design, test kitchen

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Moe’s Southwest Grill is opening its test kitchen and prototype, “The Oasis,” next week near its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Over the past 18-months we’ve taken a comprehensive look at our brand and intently listened to our fans in the process. As a result, we have updated the restaurant design and expanded the menu — both of which deliver on the brand’s new positioning, ‘Untamed Southwest,'” President Bruce Schroder said in a press release. “By fully activating our middle name and putting our own distinctive spin on the meaning of Southwest, our goal is to maintain cultural relevance and truly set ourselves apart in the fast casual restaurant industry.”

The positioning will continue to highlight the brand’s free-spirited attitude and its family environment.

“Plus, we will continue to serve the menu staples that made us famous like burritos, bowls, stacks and quesadillas,” Schroder said.

With new dietary habits like keto, paleo and vegan becoming more prevalent combined with the on-demand economy where consumers have a proliferation of choice and scarcity of time, Moe’s wanted to create a fast casual dining experience that suits the individual needs of the entire family and besties alike.

Its now testing an elevated menu to include new proteins, entree platforms, and shareables. New menu highlights include:

  •  Avocado Caesar Salad, which has Yucatan shrimp, shredded Romaine lettuce, sliced Hass avocado, cilantro, Cotija cheese, tortillas and avocado Caesar dressing.
  • Quinoa Power Bowl, made with Mojo chicken, quinoa and brown rice mix, frijoles, shredded Romaine lettuce, corn pico, sliced Hass avocado, cilantro, queso fresco and salsa verde.
  • Street Taco, which has avocado, soft blue corn tortilla, onion, queso fresco, cilantro, lime and chipotle Ranch.
  • Torta, made with Applewood smoked brisket, bolillo bread, frijoles, Chihuahua cheese, mayo, tomato, shredded Romaine lettuce, cilantro and ancho sauce.
  • Shareables: street corn, crunchy avocado, charro beans, mac ‘n qQueso and bunuelos.

“When you think of the Southwest region in the U.S., you generally think of the four corners — Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. We started there and then pulled in elements from other areas in California and Texas — these locations combined provided the culinary inspiration for the bold menu items that we are testing,” said Ciaran Duffy, executive chef, Moe’s Southwest Grill, in the release.

“Spices and ingredients like adobo, poblano peppers and hatch chiles are featured throughout the menu at The Oasis in addition to classic Moe’s concoctions served with our delicious queso and variety of salsas on the Salsa Bar.”

Duffy will speak about the menu upgrades at the 2019 Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit, March 11-13 in Louisville. Register here.

The Oasis

Beyond culinary innovation, The Oasis will feature a design based on in-depth research and interviews with new and loyal guests, according to the release. Expanding on the classic Moe’s design palette, the brand has added colors and textures reflective of the diverse culture and landscape of the Southwest, Schroder said.

In addition, the operational enhancements developed for the prototype design ensure convenient service from engaged team members.  Examples include a second production line and specific pick-up station for guests who use delivery and online ordering, Schroder said in the release.

Republished with permission from FastCasual.

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