In the 1950s and 1960s, Americans considered sushi a high-end delicacy. As sushi became more widely available in metropolitan areas its popularity grew.
While sushi is a versatile food, it also is rooted in Japanese tradition, which somewhat limits what sushi franchises can do with it. At Aloha Poke Co., our menu is entirely flexible.
We’ve created poke bowls with sushi-grade fish that celebrate certain flavor combinations. We also allow our customers to build their own bowls from a list of enticing superfoods for a meal that tastes as beautiful as it looks.
What is a Poke Bowl?
Aloha Poke Co. is not a sushi franchise; we are dedicated to the poke experience, which shares many ingredients with the sushi market.
Poke (pronounced poh-KAY) simply means “chunk” in Hawaiian, and traditionally consisted of raw tuna cut into cubes in a marinade of soy sauce and sesame oil. It would also be mixed with onion. Variations of the poke bowl have exploded recently.
Poke bowls are generally seafood, though they don’t have to be. Aloha Poke Co. has chicken as a meat option for our build-your-own-bowl menu.
The protein source can be cubed or shaved, the seafood can be cooked or raw, and the additions to the bowl can include a variety of flavors besides onion.
Common ingredients are rice or salad greens base, avocado, edamame, cucumber, pineapple, scallions, ginger, jalapeño, seaweed, and tobiko (flying fish roe).
Poke bowl flavors are then topped off with savory, sweet, or spicy sauces. We make poke bowls to fit nearly any diet, from paleo, keto, gluten-free, and vegan as well. The possibilities with poke bowl combinations are plentiful.
Poke bowls are influenced heavily by Japanese and Korean cuisines. In America, our closest reference to this kind of cuisine is the sushi franchise. But as more people discover Aloha Poke Co., the wider our understanding of this cuisine grows.
The Current and Future State of the Sushi Franchise Market
Between 2017 and 2022, the sushi franchise market was valued at $27.5 billion, and each year, this restaurant segment grew 4.6%.
In the coming years, and as the restaurant industry recovers from the economic downturn of 2020, we can expect incremental growth of $2.49 billion between 2021 and 2025.
In the past five years, the sushi franchise industry has seen increased seafood consumption mostly due to growing disposable income.
The size of urban populations is also increasing, so more people are exposed to a richer variety of foods, including cuisines like sushi, poke, and ethnic foods.
This gives investors in an Aloha Poke Co. franchise the opportunity for a steady stream of potential new customers.
How Much is an Investment in a Sushi Franchise or Aloha Poke Co. Franchise?
Estimates on how much money it takes to open a sushi restaurant vary widely, mainly due to the versatility of the restaurant industry itself.
A big question is leasing or buying the land on which a sushi restaurant sits. The median assumption for the total capital requirement is around $280,000.
Building construction could be near $140,000, and a fully equipped kitchen is upwards of $75,000. Add an additional $20,000 for the tech necessary to take orders and payments, and another $20,000 for furniture round out the up-front investment.
To operate, a restaurateur would need an additional $12,000 for the first purchases of food and drink, and then more on insurance, licensing, and permits. The costs of running the business and paying staff would also need to be factored in for the first weeks of operation.
The Aloha Poke Co. not-quite-a-sushi franchise opportunity is typically more affordable than most sushi franchises for its investment estimate and lower overhead costs.
The food cost is only 28.6%, including packaging, freight, and other distribution costs, which helps keep overhead low.
Aloha Poke Co. franchise locations also have a very low square footage requirement, minimizing operating costs and labor. In fact, labor is only 24.1%, including the location’s general manager and employee benefits.
What are the Benefits of Owning an Aloha Poke Co.?
In general, sushi fast food franchises have many benefits that can also translate to owning an Aloha Poke Co. franchise.
Customers love sushi. Once a customer tries poke bowls (or sushi), opinions are generally high, and they become repeat guests of the restaurant who spread word-of-mouth recommendations and bring in new customers.
Aloha Poke Co. has a simple business model, and our streamlined franchise model makes for a smooth grand opening and easy day-to-day operations.
We don’t require a large footprint or big dining space. The average Aloha Poke Co. franchise is between 250 and 2,000 square feet.
This space-efficient build-out helps our franchise owners minimize overhead and includes many more neighborhoods for potential restaurant locations, unlike many other sushi franchises.
We also don’t have industrial kitchen requirements like ventilation, hoods, grills, ovens, or fryers. Less equipment to purchase and use daily reduces up-front investments as well as overhead expenses.
This also means returns on investment have the potential to occur quicker than the standard sushi franchise opportunity.
The technology we use for each Aloha Poke Co. location performs all administrative duties our franchise requires, including point-of-sale systems and back-office programs, and can be run on a handheld tablet using cloud technology.
For these reasons, and more, an Aloha Poke Co. franchise investment may be the more appealing option when compared with traditional sushi franchises.
For example, the How Do You Roll sushi franchise had a lot of promise and was growing until 2016. Now, there are only two open locations with no news of any new ones opening.
Aloha Poke Co., which began in Chicago in 2016, now has over 19 locations and growing in the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions, and we’re still growing.
If you’d like to be a part of an elegantly designed franchise with growth potential, contact us today to learn how.