Local News

From NC to Abu Dhabi: Hwy 55 Burgers expanding beyond owner's dreams

Posted August 1, 2012

— Kenny Moore always hoped to expand his popular '50s-themed burger restaurants – formerly called Andy's Burgers, Shakes & Fries – beyond his home base of eastern North Carolina.

But the Goldsboro resident never dreamed he'd be looking at 15 locations in the Middle East.

The local chain plans to open in Abu Dhabi, the coastal capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The business opportunity of a lifetime began as a quirk.

Earlier this year, Moore entered a bracketed competition sponsored by BurgerBusiness.com, an industry marketing website. Despite his entry as a 16th-seed underdog, Moore won.

The victory caught the attention of Allied Brothers Co., an investment group in Abu Dhabi that recruited Moore to expand there.

Moore said he has committed to 15 restaurants with an option for another 70 in other locations across the Middle East.

Hwy 55 burgers Local burger chain expands to Middle East

It's an "American dream fulfilled," says Moore, who opened the burger joint in 1991 after being fired from another job in the restaurant business.

It's a new start for Moore and a new name for Andy's, which is now called Highway 55.

Moore had to change the name in order to get a federal trademark required for domestic expansion. He said he wanted to keep the original moniker because it was named after his son, but "Andy" was already trademarked by another company in Missouri.

"We’ve moved past the personal side and decided we can have some fun with the Highway 55 name in kind of a Route 66 way," he told BurgerBusiness.com. "We can have fun and, at the same time, I say our name doesn’t define us. Our people and our culture do."

Highway 55 has more than 100 restaurants statewide and has plans to add nearly 300 stores and 6,000 employees as it expands into Virginia, South Carolina and Florida in the next seven years.

8 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • bitsyfae1 Aug 3, 2012

    Well, there goes the good burgers. Granted not all of the Andys are created equal, but I know at my location the burger taste fabulous. I can only see getting too big for his britches harming the quality of the rest of the local establishments. And btw, please stop serving red hot dogs. Those things are lethal for a lot of people!

  • manuelyerica Aug 2, 2012

    Love their food!!!!

  • zovi Aug 2, 2012

    I wish the one at Lake Gaston was better, we've stopped going.

  • Half Red Half Blue Aug 2, 2012

    Way to go Kenny! I miss working at the Nashville store. I still fill in for someone once in a while. If I ever strike it rich I wouldn't mind working there for free as a hoby.

  • tjones Aug 2, 2012

    great food and good prices

  • Whatever Geez Aug 2, 2012

    MOC Alum!

  • computer trainer Aug 2, 2012

    Me Again, you need to try the one in Knightdale. Excellent Owners, Excellent Staff. Even understaffed, refills are always given.

    So happy for the success of this business. Of course, they did not build this. Of course they did. Thru a LOT of hard work, sweat, and I am sure a few tears, too.

    Love you guys at Andy's in Knightdale!!! (Going to be hard to change to Hwy 55!)

  • Me again Aug 2, 2012

    The food at Andy's is good but everytime I go it seems like everytime I go, they are understaffed and it takes forever to get your order. And a refill? Forget about it.