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. (…)”

Read more here.

New on the Menu: Jack in the Box’s Late-Night Proposition

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“Jack in the Box is expanding its “french fries in a box” concept to two more potato, fat, and dairy concoctions that would make any cardiologist squirm. In the company’s defense, they’re going to try just about anything to keep their franchisees happy right now. Also in Jack’s defense? It doesn’t have the meal in this installment that must worry doctors the most.

Every few weeks Skift Table will wrap up the latest seasonal and new items on chain restaurant menus in the United States. We don’t call out everything (sorry limited-time Pumpkin Spice something), but we will call out items that are notable for what they mean to a chain, the season, or consumer habits.”

See more here.

Taiwanese Fried Chicken and Bubble Tea Head to the Flatiron District

This new eat-in, take-out spot is a Taiwanese doubleheader. Kung Fu Tea, a Taiwanese-style bubble tea company that started in 2010 in Flushing, Queens, and now has 200 outlets in 30 states, has joined forces with TKK Fried Chicken, a chain founded in 1974 in Taiwan. The Taiwanese recipe called “original” on the menu is crisp and moderately spiced. There is also a milder version and, for the American market, a crisper, more forcefully seasoned one. How is this fried chicken different from the Korean variety found all over New York? “Taiwanese fried chicken is first marinated for 24 hours to add flavor,” said Steven Luw, the general operating manager. “Then it gets a flour breading and is fried once. Korean fried chicken is usually dipped in batter and fried twice.” The company, which will count this location as its first American restaurant in addition to the 68 branches it has in Taiwan and Shanghai, is also offering items that are not on the menu in Asia, including curly fries, a fried chicken sandwich, chunky coleslaw, Wisconsin-style cheese curds, biscuits and seared shishito peppers. The bubble tea partnership provides many colorful teas with optional toppings like red beans and crushed Oreos, served at varying sweetness, iced to hot.”

Read more here.