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Debunking a rumor: Moe’s is not closing

    Every week, I have the pleasure of writing this column and talking about a passion of mine, local businesses and business development. While I try to have fun with it, I am forever conscious of the power of the words that are printed and distributed in the Statesboro Herald.

     For that reason, I try and present the material as clearly and unambiguously as I can. However, every once and a while, I am reminded just how powerful words can be, and how easily and quickly a story can be misconstrued and a hurtful rumor result.

     Last week, the Associated Press issued a story about Raving Brands, the Atlanta-based company that developed and is the franchisor of Moe's restaurants. The article stated that Raving Brands is selling its Moe's concept to Focus Brands, the company which owns Cinnabon as well as a number of other restaurant concepts.

     We picked up the Associated Press article on Moe's and incorporated it into a larger piece with opinions from the owners of our local Moe's franchise, Jack and Mert Slaton. The article clearly stated that the Moe's franchise restaurants would still continue to operate, business as usual, only a different company would be their franchisor.

     That different company would have the right to franchise additional restaurants, collect royalties from sales, manage the brand, and set policy for operations. The Slatons felt like it was a good move for Moe's. Restaurant concepts are sold all of the time, just like any other types of businesses, and this sale was not unexpected.

     However, somehow, the rumor was started that the local Moe's was closing. People approached the Slatons saying they heard it was going to become a Cinnabon restaurant. A number of people told them they were very sorry to hear they were closing. Clearly, that is not the case.

     For the life of us, the Slatons and I cannot figure out how anyone thought their restaurant was closing or a Cinnabon was coming from reading the article on Moe's. The word "close" wasn't even in the text, anywhere.  It simply stated the Moe's concept and franchise rights were under contract to be sold.

     I am writing all of this for two reasons. First and foremost, to let everyone know that Moe's is not closing, and that the Slatons truly appreciate and are touched by your concern. They "love" Statesboro, and have no intention of going anywhere. You will continue to be "welcomed" at Moe's.

     Secondly, it is my charge to report things as clearly and concisely as I can. I take that very seriously which is why I tend to call those that I am interviewing more than once which I know can be a "little" annoying.

     From a business perspective, these are great and exciting times for our community. New businesses and restaurants are opening at a record pace which is fun for all of us. So, bear with me those that I interview, we are going to get it right, before it is printed. And, if you read something and it doesn't seem quite right, I hope that you will read it again. On second glance, it may become much more clear.

     Until next week, I bid you au revoir.

     Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or e-mail her at jmoore@statesboroherald.net

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