Phoenix Business Journal Profiles Original ChopShop Growth Strategy

Scottsdale, Arizona – Hargett Hunter Managing Partner Jason Morgan detailed Original ChopShop’s unit expansion plan in an article written by Steven Totten in the April 7th, 2017 edition of Phoenix Business Journal.

The article, “An $8.2M investment means massive growth for The Original ChopShop; 4 more locations coming to the Valley“, is available here and below.

A rendering of the new Original ChopShop in Queen Creek.

Queen Creek

CEO Jason Morgan helped bring Texas-based Zoe’s Kitchen public, and he’s using a similar formula for the Scottsdale eatery.

Scottsdale’s The Original ChopShop will likely have seven or eight locations by the end of the year.

The concept, which already has locations in Tempe, Chandler and Old Town Scottsdale, will be opening four more locations in Arizona this year, with a Queen Creek location opening at the end of this month at 21227 S. Ellsworth Loop Road.

The upcoming location will encompass roughly 4,100-square-feet, seating about 130, and offer some new menu items as well.

More locations are slated for Arcadia, North Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, each taking up slightly less than 3,000 square feet and hiring around 50. The three locations are slated to open near the end of the year or early 2018. By that time, The Original ChopShop will have about 22,000 square feet of real estate in the Valley and employ roughly 350 people.

This wasn’t always in the pipeline for the trendy eatery, but once a Raleigh-based investment firm pumped $8.2 million into the concept last year, plans were made to bring The Original ChopShop to scale.

Hargett Hunter Capital Partners, which has offices in Houston and North Carolina, owns The Original ChopShop and Houston-based Ruggles Green, and managing partner Jason Morgan, who’s CEO for both concepts, said the restaurant can work in any location.

“The great thing is the brand is authentic and approachable and with those two things, you can take it anywhere,” he said. “It works in small and large cities and that was appealing. Even with the three stores we have, they’re in diverse real estate areas.”

Morgan bases his plans off his experience as CFO of Texas-based Zoe’s Kitchen, a concept he brought to massive growth — from 20 locations to 150 — and brought public in 2014.

“We believe we have a playbook to grow a small restaurant company,” he said.

That playbook is pretty heavy in analytics, specifically with demographics. That’s why The Original ChopShop is opening another location in Scottsdale, as well as Arcadia and Paradise Valley — areas where residents are a little better off in the Valley.

“We’re heavy in analytics for our site selection. We feel very confident of who the customer is today,” said Morgan.

That customer, Morgan said, is educated, affluent, and “skews younger than you might expect,” in the 25 to 40 demographic.

It’s a similar demographic that Morgan sees in Dallas, where ChopShop will likely have its first out-of-state location.

“You’ll see us in Dallas next, where we see the demographics that meet the customer,” he said.

It’s not just about the demographics though. Compared to other fast-casual restaurants, ChopShop has revenue that’s “better than average,” said Morgan.

“We can drive three day parts, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. With juices and protein shakes, people show up at odd hours of the day,” said Morgan. “We are able to maximize square footage of the box and it drives revenue.”

Though Morgan wouldn’t disclose revenue or gross annual sales for ChopShop, Hargett Hunter Capital Partners invests in restaurant firms that generate between $5 million and $100 million in annual revenue, according to sister publication Triangle Business Journal — so it’s safe to say that ChopShop is doing pretty well for itself.

The new Queen Creek location for ChopShop is holding job fairs on April 10, 13, 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.