When Gregg Majewski joined the Mongolian Concepts Restaurant Group team as CEO in spring of 2021, he came in with the intention to eventually buy the company and integrate the brands—including Genghis Grill, BD’s Mongolian Grill, and Flat Top Grill—into Craveworthy Brands, which Majewski himself founded. Though COVID delayed the process, Craveworthy entered into a purchase agreement with former owners, CMG Companies, to purchase Mongolian Concepts on Tuesday.
The three brands—including the 80-plus corporate-owned and franchised locations—will be integrated into the Craveworthy Brands platform, eliminating the Mongolian Concepts umbrella. No personnel eliminations are expected.
The deal is expected to close shortly, and will expand the footprint of Majewski’s portfolio to 93 open stores in 25 states, with 45 more in various stages of development. This also marks Craveworthy’s third acquisition since forming in late 2022, following the purchases of Wing It On! And The Budlong Hot Chicken. Craveworthy also created two additional brands, Krafted Burger Bar + Top and the Lucky Cat Poke Company. The transaction amount was not disclosed.
Dallas, Texas-based CMG also has investments with KFC, Taco Bell, Sonic, Little Caesars, and other multi-unit franchise companies and hotels, which in total span approximately 450 locations across 30 states.
“My relationship with CMG, I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with them. They were great,” Majewski says. “They had the Genghis brand since the early 2000s, and have done an absolutely incredible job. It’s an incredible business, and they’ve given me a legacy I’m able to expand on and grow, and they’ll have something to look back on and be very grateful when all is said and done.”
Genghis Grill, Wing It On!, and Budlong Hot Chicken are already ready to continue growing via franchising, and Majewski’s team will start crafting franchising documents for Flat Top Grill and Lucky Cat Poke by the end of the year. He plans to create two hubs in Chicago and Dallas where all Craveworthy brands will have a presence, then expand out from those centers.
“We really want to blow out the states we already have a presence in to help with distribution,” he says. “But now that we’re all under one umbrella and in [nearly] 30 states, it opens up a whole new avenue for us on growth.”
Majewski expects the power of Craveworthy’s scale to drastically decrease food and beverage costs, in addition to ad and software rates.
“The synergies of having everyone under one rooftop, to truly work together as a team and drive all the brands together, [will lead] Craveworthy to have enormous purchasing power to use to our advantage across all the brands that I wasn’t fully able to tap into,” he says.
And more acquisitions are on the horizon. While his leadership team is growing quickly, it will take a little bit of time for everyone to digest the change, Majewski adds, and then he’ll “redeploy assets accordingly.”
“I’m an open book with my team. They always know what I’m working on, and it was all a part of the plan when I took the CEO role there to acquire it fully,” he says. “Nobody was surprised on my side, and no one will be surprised by the other plans if they close; they’re all fully aware.”
Craveworthy’s “coming out party” will debut at the 2023 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference in Las Vegas on April 25, he says, where a booth will house the newly-integrated brands.
“We’re excited about what the future is going to hold as we maintain the promise that franchisees are the customers we care most about, and we won’t win unless they win,” Majewski adds.
“We expect a bright future for all three brands with Gregg and his team behind them,” said Manish Patel, co-founder and principal of CMG Companies, in a statement. “As we exit all three Mongolian Concepts brands, Genghis Grill, BD’s Mongolian Grill and Flat Top Grill will all remain as a key part of our history and legacy.”