Thinking big at BDC.
The 33-year-old entrepreneur investigated buying a Quiznos franchise as the chain was on the brink of a countrywide popularity explosion.
"I was in California opening a Crunch [gym] when I first discovered Quiznos, which at the time didn't operate on the East Coast," recalled Moger. "I thought it was a great product with great branding and something I wanted to work with. I contacted them about buying a franchise to own and operate my own Quiznos in New York.
"I bought two but, more importantly, I landed them as a client."
In fact, Moger's Branded Concept Development elbowed out Insignia/ESG to land the coveted exclusive broker contract that will see the sandwich chain take a massive bite out of the Big Apple market.
Quiznos plans to open 300 shops in the New York area over the next five years, 50 of them in Manhattan alone.
BDC currently represents Quiznos as exclusive broker in Westchester, Rockland and Bergen counties and is also serving as development agent for the chain, handling design and construction services, in those areas plus all five boroughs of New York and Long Island.
The exclusive contract is the third national account BDC has landed since Moger founded his company the week of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"I have to say, it was a difficult start. It was a one-man shop and I was working out of an office in my father's marketing business," recalled Moger, who now employs eight professionals operating from a suite of offices on East 23rd Street.
Despite the bad timing, Moger found that the shoes of a small businessman fit him well.
He had been working in corporate development in-house for various firms, including Crunch Fitness, which he guided through a national roll-out, going from seven to 18 gyms, and Morton's Steakhouse. He subsequently jumped to Two Boots Pizza, a family-owned restaurant with big plans to expand.
"The plan was to grow on a national scale," said Moger, "but the owners ultimately decided they did not think the time was right and it was then I decided to start my own company."
Although he says his heart has always been in the restaurant business, Moger took political science at Washington University, MO, because he found it "interesting." A native New Yorker, he'd always picked up work at neighborhood restaurants. After taking a job as food and beverage controller at Morton's on the Upper West Side when he left college, Moger found himself being tapped to take care of a wide variety of chores.
"They started sending me out to work at other restaurants around the country that were being developed. I noticed there was a big disconnect between the real estate people signing the leases, the contractors doing the work and the manager."
Moger went to Morton's president to point out the anomaly and suggest a more streamlined approach--and landed himself the job of Manager for Special Projects.
After a successful run managing several Morton's openings, Moger moved to Crunch, where he played a part in that company's expansion and ultimate $90M sale to Bally's.
It was the beginning of a pattern of tapping into firms with first class branding concepts that make them ripe for development. Companies like Two Boots Pizza which, if you haven't yet heard of, you will, promises Moger.
"The owners have done a nice job of creating a brand," says Moger, who admits he was disappointed when they decided not to press ahead with their expansion plans in 2001. "They were nervous about losing control."
Nonetheless, had they gone ahead, Moger is unlikely to have started his own company that has certainly tapped into a market of helping developing companies through its one-stop-shop policy.
Moger and his executives now offer their clients real estate, design, construction and brand management services under one roof. They carry out site selections, lease negotiations, brokerage and tenant rep work; operate as project managers for design and construction; provide brand management, particularly with start-up firms and do due diligence work.
By offering an alternative to developing branded restaurant and retail concepts, BDC has tapped into the very lucrative franchise market and sparked a buzz among the industry.
Since signing Quiznos--the world's fastest growing restaurant concept--BCD has also landed two other national accounts. Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, based in Oklahoma and now developing in the Northeast, and Roberts, a juice bar and healthy eats concept based in LA with big plans for an East Coast invasion, have both retained BCD to handle their development here. BCD is currently shopping around for 2-300 s/f spaces for both firms.
BDC is also working with smaller start-ups with big ideas and Moger believes his firm will turn more towards franchises as the company grows.
"Our services are a huge selling point to other national franchises that we are starting to hear about who want to move into the New York market."
And with his big ideas, Andrew Moger is just the man to help them.
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|Publication:||Real Estate Weekly|
|Date:||Jan 14, 2004|
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