For Doug Puryear, Monday’s opening of his fifth Surcheros Fresh Mex restaurant franchise with partner Brian Smith will mark a milestone for him and Surcheros — the Statesboro eatery is the first of the chain’s 16 restaurants to be built from the ground up.
“Normally, we open in existing buildings in shopping centers,” Puryear said. “But Brian and I want the Statesboro restaurant to stand out. It is larger than other Surcheros, and I think customers will find it very inviting and a great atmosphere.”
Surcheros will hold its Statesboro grand opening Monday at 10:30 a.m. at the restaurant next to the Walmart Neighborhood Market and behind McDonald’s off Fair Road. The first 50 guests in line will receive coupons for one free Surcheros meal every month for a year, said Deborah Kirkland, director of marketing and franchise support for Surcheros.
Since opening their first Surcheros in Brunswick in 2017, Puryear and Smith have added restaurants in Hinesville, Valdosta and Blackshear. He said his wife and Smith are both graduates of Georgia Southern University, so they know the Statesboro market and are confident Surcheros will be successful.
Acknowledging that there is plenty of competition from the other Tex-Mex restaurants in Statesboro, Puryear nonetheless believes Surcheros will win over customers with the quality of their food and service.
“We mirror Chick-fil-A’s brand of customer service,” Puryear said. “We’ll greet you with a smile and a pledge to make your visit with us a great experience. And our food is great. You won’t find a restaurant with fresher ingredients.
“We have over 25 toppings for your burrito, taco, quesadilla, salad — whatever you want. You can eat as healthy as you want or smother everything in cheese.”
Surcheros was founded in 2007 by Luke Christian in Douglas, Georgia. Four corporate stores were added in the next 10 years, and the first franchised restaurant was opened in 2017 in Moultrie. Statesboro will be the 10th Surcheros opened since then, and restaurants will open in Savannah and four other Georgia cities in the coming months, bringing the total number of restaurants to 21.
The Statesboro Surcheros is the largest of the chain at 3,100 square feet, Kirkland said, and will have 15 to 20 employees, including five full-time positions.
Puryear said the staff is hired and training all this week for Monday’s opening.
“We are excited to get started,” he said. “Service, freshness, variety and atmosphere — I think all those will make our Surcheros stand out in Statesboro.”
Jim Healy may be reached at (912) 489-9402.