Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Company plans 35 brunch restaurants

August 23, 2019
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Morning Belle Brunch Bistro Pacific blue crab hash
Pacific blue crab hash. Photo via fb.com

A locally based restaurant company is spending $70 million to expand the brunch concept it is currently developing in Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids-based Meritage Hospitality Group said today it is planning to open 35 corporate-owned locations of Morning Belle, a “garden-themed” sit-down brunch place, by the end of 2025.

Gary Rose, president and COO, Meritage, said the company is spending about $70 million in the development of the initial 35 Morning Belle restaurants through “internal cash generation, credit facilities and affiliated real estate entities.”

Morning Belle’s first location will open Sept. 25 in the former Twisted Rooster in Grand Rapids Township, at 1600 E. Beltline Ave. NE.

“Our new concept will provide significant new team member opportunities for growth, including clear career paths for both front-of-house and back-of-house employees to develop as future restaurant leaders,” Rose said.

“We see great opportunity to leverage efficiencies across the Meritage operating platform including real estate development, human resources, information systems and accounting.”

Concept

Morning Belle is a family-friendly brunch restaurant that will serve breakfast foods and fresh juices and cocktails.

The menu will include glazed doughnut waffles, garden grain bowls and classic breakfast foods.

Morning Belle will be open 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily.

Meritage growth

Meritage recently announced a commitment to build 40 new Wendy’s restaurants by 2024 under Wendy’s groundbreaking development program. Meritage said it is on pace for a record number of newly built restaurants in 2019-20 across its 16 states of operation.

The company also entered into definitive agreements to acquire 10 Wendy’s restaurants earlier this month.

Meritage projects its sales and earnings growth will accelerate in 2020 driven by its newly developed, reimaged and acquired restaurants.

Meritage

Meritage Hospitality Group (OTC: MHGU) is a restaurant company with a portfolio of 321 restaurants in numerous states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The company has about 10,000 employees.

It operates restaurants under several brands: Wendy’s; Stan Diego; Freighters Eatery & Taproom; and Wheelhouse.

Meritage reported 2018 sales of $435.3 million.

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