I believe entrepreneurs thinking about a concept should ask a current franchisee (3) important questions. Here are some answers from Tom Wang, a multi-unit owner/operator of Aloha Poke Co. in Wisconsin.
Question 1: Are you happy?
Absolutely, beyond happy. From the brand and the product to the store design, and ease of operations, Aloha Poke Co. is second to none. I come from a family of restaurant owners, and I just keep thing… “no chef?” This simple operational approach allows an owner to slot employees with a wide range of skills, which definitely helps with store labor. As far as the product goes, it's clean, healthy, sustainably sourced, and delicious. I am not certain how the Aloha Poke Co. team feels about me saying this, but I believe that it all goes back to the Crunch Bowl. Our customers love it. Now, that being said, there are so many different ingredient combinations that everyone’s going to find something they like. The support? I couldn’t be happier. You don’t feel like you are on an island. IT, ops, marketing… all superb.
Question 2: Are you making money?
Absolutely. Even with the challenges of the COVID pandemic, we made our initial investment back very quickly, and the margins are great. I know some franchisees with other brands that have never made their money back. Even during the pandemic we were very pleased with our returns. I am in the Wisconsin market. Customers get more excited about poke in warmer weather, it’s just the nature of the category. But we're still crushing it up here. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. We are doing it. We have the numbers to back it up.
Question 3: Would you do it again?
Absolutely, we opened two locations during the COVID pandemic and we are actively pursuing opportunities in another market with the ultimate goal of continued expansion across the state. Again, I am in Wisconsin. We don’t have the weather, and Milwaukee is a smaller metro area, but we know we can do this. The sky's the limit.
If you would like to talk more about Aloha Poke Co., please contact us today.