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Moe’s Southwest Grill opens today

Moe’s Southwest Grill opens today

Today is the opening day of Moe’s Southwest Grill at 308 South 9th St. To celebrate the opening day, Moe’s will treat it’s first 100 guests to free burritos for a year. $3 burritos will be offered all day for the remaining customers.

This new location is owned by franchise partner Jeff Offutt, who brings a wealth of experience as a franchisee of numerous Subway, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Baskin Robbins locations. The Columbia location is Offutt’s second Moe’s. He has signed a deal to develop 30 locations throughout Missouri over the next several years. He is expected to open a third location in Branson in early 2015.

Offutt thinks the free burritos for a year concept will create a bigger buzz than traditional advertising can. When he opened his first Moe’s location in Springfield, customers camped out overnight to be one of the first 100 in line. Columbia’s line started a full 21 hours before the store opened.

Although Moe’s is a similar concept to Chipotle, and will be located almost next door to the chain, Offutt says there are some distinct differences between the two.

“I think Moe’s is a great compliment to Chipotle,” Offutt says. “Chipotle doesn’t do a great job for value seekers.”

Moe’s is able to keep prices down by offering slightly smaller burritos than Chipotle. Chips and salsa are always free, also adding to the value. The quality of Moe’s ingredients is comparable to Chipotle, Offutt says.

On “Moe Mondays,” a weekly event, customers can get a burrito, drink and chips and salsa for $5.

“I think it will be huge,” Offutt says.

Moe’s is located across the street from the Missouri School of Journalism, and Offutt hopes to familiarize MU students with the brand. He will be opening more locations in Missouri, so students will have Moe’s locations in their hometowns soon.

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