Why Teriyaki Madness CEO is confident about 500-unit growth strategy

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“Claiming to double your restaurant unit count in one year may seem pretty gutsy, but Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith isn’t afraid to say it aloud.

Founded in 2003, the Las Vegas-based concept now based in Denver started 2019, with about 40 units but will end it with more than 80. The growth plan doesn’t stop there, however, as the chain will hit 500 by 2026. And that’s a “minimum,” said Haith, who purchased the brand in 2016, from the founding brothers, who still own five locations.

“500 is not our goal as much as it is a conservative forecast for the next five to seven years,” he said in an interview with FastCasual. “It is the number we will be at as a benchmark towards our 10-year goal.”

Since taking over, Haith — who came to Teriyaki Madness from Maui Wowi and Doc Popcorn — and his team have implemented processes and systems to focus on growth. And that team includes several industry veterans:

  • VP of Marketing Jodi Boyce, who worked for Quiznos and Smashburger.
  • CFO John Miller, Chipotle’s former CFO.
  • VP of Operations Janice Branam, whose tenure includes Smashbuiger and Quiznos.
  • Joe Gordon, who worked for Noodles and Co., is VP of Supply Chain.
  • COO Erin Hicks, formerly of Maui Wow.
  • VP of Real Estate Peter Harding, who came from Einstein Bros.
  • VP of Real Estate Hank Janik of Schlotzsky’s. (…)”

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New York Restaurant To Host Nine Michelin-Star Chefs In A Special Dinner Series

Chefs Club

“For those looking for a unique and intimate dining experience, there’s now a special dinner series to consider.

Between May 13 and June 18, Val Cantu (Californios), Carrie and Rupert Blease (Lord Stanley), Erik Anderson (Coi) and five other chefs of Michelin-starred restaurants in the San Francisco and Bay Area will take over Chefs Club in Soho—celebrating the key ingredients, cooking and cultural influences Northern California has to offer.

This is the first New York 4×4 dinner series hosted by the Michelin Guide and Chefs Club—a restaurant group that has hosted nearly 200 world-acclaimed chefs on a rotation basis at their Manhattan, Aspen and St. Regis locations since 2012. Running four times each year, each dinner series will see renowned chefs bringing a combined rating of four stars to every table. (…)”

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Joaquin Baca’s Teo and Günter Seeger NY Both Close After Short Runs

“(…) Short-lived restaurants don’t get the same treatment, for obvious reasons, but it’s still unfortunate when ambitious places from established players fizzle out fast. There are all kinds of reasons why these closings happen. But it’s still a bummer to hear that Bushwick’s Teo has closed after just five months of serving cast-iron-skillet okonomiyakis.

The closing came out of nowhere, given what the restaurant had going for it. It wasn’t a rookie chef’s project. The owner was Joaquin Baca, who was David Chang’s first employee at Momofuku Noodle Bar and helped right the ship at Ssäm Bar after a rocky start. Baca helped shape Momofuku in its earliest years before going on to open Williamsburg’s the Brooklyn Star, which closed in May after nine years in Williamsburg. He’s a talented chef who was cooking food people want to eat; short rib over kimchee fried rice, oysters coated in cornmeal and then fried, a confit duck-leg ramen. The news was announced on the restaurant’s Instagram and website, but no reason was given.

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Simply Cooked Seafood Turns Luxurious at Taverna Kos

“An important omission on the menu at Taverna Kos in Astoria, Queens, is the enormous plate of feta you may see passing your table en route to a smarter party of people. Heaps of the imported cheese, which the restaurant buys in 28-pound containers, come flecked with dried oregano and slicked with olive oil, and act as a soft, creamy condiment for fried or broiled seafood, or dainty lamb chops.

The off-menu cheese course, which anyone can ask for, will remind you that feta can be just as slouchy as any washed-rind French cheese, as long as you buy the right stuff and put it on something hot. You could also just order a plate of feta fries, in which the crumbles melt into the soft, fresh-cut potatoes like a tangy, higher-quality Cheez Whiz.

Taverna Kos has been open to members of the Pancoan Society, a private club with which it shares a building, for 11 years; in 2016 the restaurant opened its doors to the public, and last summer began serving on weekends. There’s a lightly celebratory air about the place: String lights abound, tangled into the trees outside and lining the ceiling of the enclosed patio, where televisions play a constant stream of poppy Greek music videos.”

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Climate change tax for dining out? California restaurants add 1% fee to the bill

Hundreds of new restaurants open in the U.S. each year. These are the best of 2018

“Eating out is already getting more expensive, as restaurants nationwide raise prices to cover rising rents and employee costs.

Now, some California diners will get hit with a climate change tax.

Spurred by a Bay Area restaurateur, eateries across the state will have the option this fall of joining the Restore California Renewable Restaurant program, which adds 1% to the bill. The program is optional for restaurants and consumers alike. Funds from the initiative go to help farmers make changes in their fields that would help capture carbon dioxide. CO2 is considered among the chief contributors to climate change.”

“The new initiative comes against a backdrop of rising dining prices. In January, full-service restaurant prices were up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, well above the 1.6 percent annual rise for inflation overall, according to the consumer price index.”

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This New York Restaurant Sets the Standard for American Fine Dining

“Their questions might start near where coats are collected, or in the bar. (“Your first time with us?” “Where are you from?”) And their eavesdropping determines whether you might be the sort of diner to welcome lamb chops or lamb brain. Unbeknownst to diners, the intel makes its way back to the kitchen, where an assembly of cooks and servers use it to create one-of-a-kind meals for people who might have booked months ahead for one of 75 seats.

You don’t get a menu when you sit down, in other words. You’re asked to trust chef Dan Barber and associates with your appetite. Barber, 49, opened the dining destination — a 35-minute express train ride from Manhattan, home to the original Blue Hill — with family members 15 years ago, on land donated by the late David Rockefeller Sr. Almost from the start, the one-time dairy barn and its environs, located within the nonprofit Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, have redefined American fine dining.”

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East Village’s Jiang Diner Is a Magnetic New Entry Into NYC’s Chinese Dining Scene

Lamb stuffed shumai dumplings

“(…) Jiang Diner also refers to its purse-shaped manti dumplings as shumai, even though they are not the sort of fragile little dumplings one finds in a Cantonese or Japanese restaurants. They are nevertheless quite good, bulging with a wet lamb or beef filling. The dumpling skins are way more delicate than the doughy ones found in, say, a Uzbekistan restaurant like Nargis Cafe.

The greatest strength of Jiang Diner lies in its introduction of dishes we hadn’t really seen before in New York. Most brilliant of all, but also on the expensive side, is its plate of lamb ribs ($26), either steamed or roasted, and presented with dipping reservoirs of powdered Asian cumin and thick chile paste. Those who eschew fat should avoid these, but there is no more flavorful lamb in town, except perhaps some local versions of Mexican barbacoa. Another dish that shouldn’t be missed is the steamed eggplant with fresh garlic paste ($8), which will feel somewhat familiar to anyone who frequents local Sichuan restaurants. This one also features potatoes, while red bell peppers add sweetness. I liked it so much that I tried it twice, and the time it was served to me warm, it was transcendent.”

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