eggs up grill

Restaurant Employee Turned Business Owner Signs on to Bring Eggs Up Grill to Charlotte

January 27, 2021
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Newly-signed franchisee and experienced restaurateur, Andre Smith has signed on with Eggs Up Grill in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Since its founding in 1997 in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Eggs Up Grill has made a name for itself in the breakfast segment by serving up delicious food in welcoming restaurants across the Southeast.

In the past year, multi-unit deals in Wilmington, North Carolina, Ocala, Florida, South Carolina, North Georgia, and Savannah, Georgia have propelled the brand’s growth, as have single restaurant signings in Asheville, North Carolina, Johnson City, Tennessee, Tampa, Florida and Gastonia, North Carolina. Now, entrepreneur Andre Smith—an experienced restauranteur and business owner—has signed on to open an Eggs Up Grill restaurant in the Charlotte suburb of Fort Mill, South Carolina, with plans to expand with additional locations in the Charlotte market.

Smith partnered with Kevin and Shelley Trayer to bring Eggs Up Grill to the Ft. Mill market.  Kevin is a commercial airline pilot based in Texas and has been a close friend of Smith for many years.  Smith started his career working in restaurants as a part-time cook while still in college. While still in school, he worked his way into mgt., and after graduation became the location’s General Manager. Andre continued to work in the industry, opening his own restaurant, Sports City Grill while also become a real estate investor. 

Andre Smith and Kevin and Shelley Trayer enjoy themselves at the frachise owners conference

“I looked at several franchise brands before coming across the opportunity with Eggs Up Grill,” said Smith. “My team and I would eat at the Greenville location nearly every morning and have always thought of it as a home away from home; it’s like a big family. When I came across the franchise opportunity, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.”

The restaurateur plans on opening his first location within the next 6 to 12 months with hopes of bringing an additional 5 locations to the market.

The breakfast, brunch and lunch brand offers its franchisees several benefits, including a simple business model, strong unit-level economics, a track record of success, fantastic guest reviews, an experienced leadership team and support system and family-friendly hours of operation (6am–2pm), which provides franchisees with an advantageous work/life balance.

While the Eggs Up Grill opportunity is great for entrepreneurs coming from any industry—67% of franchisees were introduced to the brand as loyal fans before owning—it also appeals to those like Smith looking to utilize their restaurant experience and leverage long-standing community involvement to open their own franchise location.

To position franchise partners like Smith for continued success, the brand is growing revenue through menu innovation, expanding its catering program and rolling out online ordering in early 2020 to support the increasing demand for delivery. The brand team also spent the last year investing heavily in technology, training and support—the company’s Training Center and Innovation Kitchen opened in July 2019 in Spartanburg.

“As a franchise partner and a guest, I look forward to going to the restaurant every single morning,” said Smith. “My experience in the kitchen and in restaurant management has helped me greatly on the business side. Our core values of great, home-cooked quality food, friendly service and community involvement presented an ideal opportunity, paired with the brand’s track record of successful franchisees.”

Eggs Up Grill CEO Ricky Richardson says there is room for up to 12 locations in the Charlotte market and anticipates those opening within the next 5 years. The brand opened its first location in Charlotte in the Piper Glen neighborhood in 2018.

“We feel like the Charlotte market is a perfect fit for our brand,” said Richardson. “Eggs Up Grill has experienced exceptional and consistent success in the Carolinas thanks in part to the brand’s great-tasting, All-American breakfast, brunch and lunch menu and the community-centric approach of its franchisees.”

Now, with plans to open 15 to 20 restaurants over the next year, Eggs Up Grill is well on its way to reaching its overall goal of 100-locations by mid-2022. By partnering with qualified franchise partners like Smith and the Trayers, the brand is positioned for rapid success in more communities across the southeastern U.S. and beyond.

“I’ve always loved every aspect of the restaurant industry and Eggs Up Grill gives me an incredible opportunity to leverage my experience to get involved in my community and, ‘serve up smiles from sunup through lunch,’” said Smith. “The beauty of Eggs Up Grill is that it creates a blueprint for success and I’m looking forward to partnering with the brand in expanding throughout the Charlotte market.”

About Eggs Up Grill:

Eggs Up Grill is home to the whole neighborhood, serving smiles from sunup through lunch. The aromas of freshly brewed coffee, savory bacon and hand-cracked, farm-fresh eggs on the griddle, and warm, attentive team members will make you feel right at home. We are “neighbors serving neighbors” daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Recently ranked as the no. 1 breakfast franchise by Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power, Eggs Up Grill is experiencing record growth across the Southeast. Originally founded in Pawleys Island, S.C., by restaurateur Chris Skodras, Eggs Up Grill now has 47 locations and is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C.  In 2018, private equity firm WJ Partners acquired Eggs Up Grill, building the team and priming the brand to rapidly grow in more communities across the U.S. with plans underway to reach the 100 restaurant mark by 2023. For more information, visit

To learn more about franchising with Eggs Up Grill, visit