eggs up grill

Why Female Leaders and Entrepreneurs are Franchising With Eggs Up Grill

June 14, 2020
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The breakfast, brunch and lunch concept is setting franchisees on a path to success through a flexible work-life balance, strong unit-level economics and an experienced leadership and support team.   

When franchisee Dazz Collins speaks about her first visit to Eggs Up Grill, she recalls telling her husband, “I love this cute little place.” That “love” at first visit turned into a business venture that’s grown into owning three restaurants–a true family affair working alongside her mother and son.

Dazz is part of a growing trend of women venturing into franchise ownership. According to a Women in Franchising Report by Franchise Business Review, there has been a 24% increase in women-owned franchise businesses over the past decade. Of all new franchises opened in the past 24 months, 41% are women-owned businesses. This represents significant progress for women entrepreneurs. At Eggs Up Grill, 39% of franchise ownership groups have women partners.  

According to Forbes, many women entrepreneurs prefer community-based, flexible business opportunities. Eggs Up Grill offers female leaders several of these benefits, including strong unit-level economics, an experienced leadership team and support system and family-friendly hours of operation (6am–2pm), which provide franchisees with an advantageous work-life balance.

Dazz joined the brand in 2015 when she purchased an existing Eggs Up Grill on Woodruff Road in Greenville. The former pre-school teacher of 20 years had no restaurant experience. Since then, she has flourished opening her second location in Greenville in 2019. Her third location in Simpsonville, SC opens in April. In 2019, Dazz received the "Platinum Egg Award" for having the top sales in the system at Eggs Up Grill's annual owners meeting.

Smiles at the breakfast table as a family enjoys pancakes smothered in syrup in Eggs Up Grill

“Gender diversity is important because, for better or for worse, men and women see things and handle things differently than each other,” said Dazz. “For example, when my son came on board to help with the restaurant, it was clear that he brought in a different perspective than my mother and I had. These different opinions can be extremely helpful.”

Another owner, Debi Brannon, is the operator of an Eggs Up Grill restaurant in her hometown of Powdersville, South Carolina. “The first day I first visited an Eggs Up Grill, I called about ownership opportunities,” said Brannon. “As we went deeper into the discovery process, the doors kept opening—we loved the brand’s business model and hours of operation, and then we found the perfect site in our community of Powdersville where we had lived for over 20 years. We’ve raised our family here and love this tight-knit, family-oriented town. We plan to be a gathering place for families and residents of the community, and I look forward to finding ways to give back to our friends and neighbors.”

Each and every Eggs Up Grill location has a strong connection to its local community. At Eggs Up Grill, guests will always experience genuine hospitality from people who live in their community and whom they have come to know and trust. Due to Eggs Up Grill’s high team member retention rate, guests can expect to be greeted by a friendly server who knows their names and how they like their eggs.

Mary Ashton Dukes, a Wilmington, North Carolina-based franchisee, was drawn to that community-centric culture she experienced as a child, growing up visiting the original Eggs Up Grill restaurant.  Now her journey has come full circle. Along with her husband David and her two brothers, she signed the biggest multi-unit deal so far in the brand’s history, with six locations in the Wilmington market.

“My family and I knew we wanted to start a business together, and after eating at Eggs Up Grill in Pawleys Island on vacations as kids for years, we felt a natural pull toward the brand,” said Mary Ashton. “After doing our due diligence, we saw that not only was it a solid business opportunity, but also is proving to be an ideal fit for this community that we live in and love. With its family-friendly atmosphere, quality product and emphasis on customer service, our guests are falling in love with this restaurant concept in the same way we have.

In the past year, multi-unit deals in Wilmington, North Carolina, Ocala, Florida, South Carolina, North Georgia and Savannah, Georgia have propelled Eggs Up Grill’s growth, as have more single restaurant signings in Tampa, Florida; Ft. Mill, South Carolina; and Gastonia, North Carolina. The brand’s blazing expansion and franchise development this past year hasn’t gone unnoticed: Eggs Up Grill was recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, recognized on FSR Magazine’s List of Emerging Breakfast Chains and also landed a spot on Franchise Times’ Top 200+ List for 2019.

The recent growth was spurred by WJ Partners investment in the brand in 2018, a family-run investment firm with a history of scaling companies with a long-term collaboration.  For the investors, the focus on women leaders and success starts at the top. Partner Jaime Wall recognizes the opportunities the brand has for female franchisees.

“I feel strongly that those unique female perspectives are important to a franchise system with more than 20 years of success,” said Wall. “The leadership team at Eggs Up Grill continues to take the brand to the next level with support systems and training programs that enable all of our franchisees to find success in their neighborhood.”

With 30 deals in the development pipeline and plans to open 15 to 20 restaurants in 2020, Eggs Up Grill is well on its way of reaching its overall goal of 100 locations by mid-2022. Thanks to the help of these successful women, the past year has positioned the brand to rapidly grow in more communities across the U.S and double the number of states in the brand’s footprint.

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