Rank no . 303 – HuHot Mongolian Grill – US
Products & Services: Mongolian grill restaurant
Number of Locations: 49
Total Investment: $777K – 977K
Began Franchising: 2002
The first HuHot Mongolian Grill opened in Missoula, Montana, in 1999, and franchising began in 2002. At each HuHot restaurants, customers create their own stir fry dishes by filling a bowl with their choices from a selection of meats, seafood, noodles, vegetables and sauces, then handing them over to the chef to grill in front of them. The menu also features appetizers, soups and salads, and desserts.
Net Worth: $1,000,000
Liquid Cash Available: $300,000
50% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 50. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (50% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
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The first HuHot was built in Missoula, Montana in 1999 by the Vap family. Due to the family’s experience as Godfather’s Pizza franchisees, they were familiar with franchising and knew a fellow restaurateur based in the Midwest who was interested in the concept. From there, it grew by word-of-mouth.
The first franchised HuHot was built in Omaha, Nebraska in 2002. Seven locations are corporate-owned (Missoula, Montana; Appleton, Wisconsin; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Kenosha, Wisconsin; Madison, Wisconsin, Bloomington, Indiana and Lafayette, Indiana) and the rest are franchises.
HuHot’s main attraction is the 7 ft grill in the middle of the restaurant. Patrons fill their bowls from a food line of meats, noodles, fresh vegetables and specialty sauces. They then proceed to the grill and watch as their unique concoction gets grilled. The restaurants also offer an array of Asian-inspired appetizers, such as coconut shrimp and potstickers.</ref>
The create-your-own S’mores is a popular dessert, especially with families. Each order comes with graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows customers can roast on a mini hibachi at their table.
HuHot’s sauces are the key to a unique meal. Listed from mildest to hottest they are:
A selection of create-your-own sauces, such as sweet chili sauce and garlic broth are also included on the food line.
Each quarter HuHot adds in a rotational Sauce of the Season. Past seasonal sauces have included:
The walls of each HuHot Mongolian Grill location are covered in hand-painted murals inspired by Mongolian folk tales. Laura Blaker, a Missoula, Montana based artist travels to each new HuHot to paint its unique murals.