If you haven’t noticed, there have been a few changes at Mugshots Grill & Bar in Tupelo. It recently introduced 100 percent fresh Angus burgers to replace the frozen patties it once used, and franchise owner Johnny Robbins said a few more menu changes and restaurant improvements are on their way.
The changes have little to do with the recent change in corporate ownership of the brand, however, Robbins said.
“We were a standalone location and we had planned to do our changes anyway, but I think the changes they’re talking about will be good for everyone,” he said.
The 7,800-square-foot Tupelo location opened in June 2015.
Mugshots Grill & Bar was founded by Chris McDonald and Ron Savell in Hattiesburg in 2004, and was recently put completely under the wing of Savell, who is now sole owner of the brand.
McDonald and Savell divided the company in 2008, with each staking their own territories to develop. Last month, Savell’s Chers Restaurant Group bought out McDonald’s Hattiesburg-based Ain’t Life Grand Investments’ share in Mugshots. There currently are 18 Mugshots locations.
Savell told the Hattiesburg American, “It wasn’t working though … Any time you have two people who have different ideas and different ways of doing things under the same name, it’s more than likely not going to work.”
In a press release following the sale, Savell said franchise owners will benefit from streamlined resources, such as training and marketing materials, company branding, vendor availability, and menu/recipe guidelines, therefore tightening their daily operations and strengthening their long-term success as restaurant owners.
Chris McDonald stated, “Mugshots was a great opening act for my career, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to take a little funky bar on 4th Street in Hattiesburg to a regional brand along with Ron and a great group of people. A heartfelt thank you to all of our team members and fans who helped us get here. I can’t wait to see how far the Mugshots brand will go. Ron and his team have a great base to take the brand to a national platform”
In addition to Savell’s acquisition, Mugshots has immediate plans in the near future for and additional Mugshots Grill & Bar location in Pearl, and well as in Allen, Texas.
Savell said branching into Texas “will bring branding recognition into a new region for us. This is an exciting time for Mugshots.”
McDonald said he will concentrate on his two other restaurant brands, Glory Bound Gyro Co. and Topher’s Rock ‘n Roll Grill.