CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – The newest Moe’s Southwestern Grill location in Western New York opened in Cheektowaga Thursday morning and the first 50 people received free burritos for a year.
Cheektowaga resident Kayla Ryan was the first person to arrive at Moe’s last night at 8:30 p.m. She loves the food and patronized the location on Transit Road in Williamsville for the longest time.
By midnight a small community of Moe’s enthusiasts formed. “Somebody brought a basketball hoop. Another couple of people brought the corn toss. There were all sorts of games going on. To keep the order we started a list of who got there and kept everybody in order that way,” said Ryan.
“Somebody brought pizzas, somebody brought coffee and Timbits. It was awesome and it was a nice community feel. This type of thing would only happen in Buffalo for sure,” added Ryan.
The first 50 people in line receive a free burrito a week for a whole year. While it was a little windy and cold overnight Ryan said she would do it again. “Totally worth it, that’s like over $400 in burritos so I would say it’s definitely worth it. I would do it all over again.”
The 3,600 sq ft. location has the capacity to seat 100 people and it has an updated design feel. 65 team members are employed at the restaurant.
“Besides the management team, they are all new hires. These are all people who have generated jobs in Cheektowaga, from never rolling a burrito and on up,” said Reed Styers, co- owner and Director of Operations at the Moe’s Cheektowaga location.
“Even though they look busy, they don’t look stressed. They’re smiling and that’s the type of people we need for our brand and I feel that here in Cheektowaga we had a good group of people to pick from to adapt to that,” added Styers.
A new feature not seen at other Moe’s locations around Buffalo is a drive-thru window. Styers and his team went to Jacksonville, Florida and Morristown, Tennessee to see how the restaurant adapted to the drive-thru concept.
“It’s not a speaker box headset drive-thru. It’s going to give the guests the options to itemize their burrito or their bowl and create their meal. At Moe’s, you get to walk in and point at the fresh ingredients, well at the kiosks in the drive-thru, you touch the items you want on your burrito or bowl,” said Styers.
The restaurant held a soft opening Wednesday afternoon and evening. During the dinner rush, the Cheektowaga Central School District benefited from the restaurant’s first spirit night. 518 guests were served and the school raised around $2,600 in donations.
“The community here in Buffalo and Cheektowaga has always really embraced Moe’s. It’s nice to see being here today for lunch, we have a lot of new users who never been to Moe’s, but a lot of people who couldn’t wait to get in here,” added Styers.
The restaurant will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. with extended drive-thru service until Midnight.