Top-ranked fast-casual brand set to surpass triple-digit units by 2025 while driving the rising popularity of poke across North America
Irvine, CA (RestaurantNews.com) Renowned for launching the worldwide poke movement, Pokeworks is dedicated to meeting the growing demand for high-quality, premium fast casual cuisine. Along the way, the brand is collecting significant accolades, including recognition in this year’s Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list, a Top 12 ranking in Fast Casual’s 2023 “Movers & Shakers” list and the solo poke concept named to Entrepreneur’s Best of the Best Franchises.
With 67 domestic and international locations today, and several new multi-unit area development agreements (ADAs) in place, Pokeworks is actively working to make its famous poke bowls more available to diners nationwide. The brand’s super premium food quality, commitment to franchisee success and dedication to being the industry’s top trendsetter has set it apart from hundreds of competitors now seeking to ride the growing adoption of poke as an everyday meal.
“We’re honored to be named Entrepreneur’s “Best of the Best” poke concept and to be chosen #12 in Fast Casual Magazine’s “Movers & Shakers,” which we attribute to our commitment to providing innovative, handcrafted poke bowls to our guests, along with our unparalleled support for our franchise partners,” said Pokeworks CEO Steve Heeley. “We are committed to working closely with our franchise owners to stay at the culinary forefront while making our premium poke accessible to more guests around the country.”
Pokeworks’ meticulous approach to expanding its concept includes use of detailed models and market data to inform decisions on market and site selection, which benefits both current and potential franchisees. The company has made significant investments in a best-in-class digital infrastructure to support today’s digital consumer. Pokeworks has partnerships with OLO, PUNCHH, Revel, Koala, Byte and Givex to drive sales to its franchise owners. The company has also partnered with RAD (Restaurant Analytics Delivered) to provide real-time data to operators.
In addition to these powerful systems, the brand team works directly with franchisees to ensure that operations and culinary innovation meet the preferences of the customer base. Franchisees also have access to a full-time training and operations manager, bringing the brand’s extensive experience within the industry to each new restaurant opening. Pokeworks’ overall investment in staff, training and operations, supply chain management, marketing, human resources and IT supports each franchisee to maximize its success.
“There simply isn’t a better partner to grow a franchise base with than Pokeworks,” said Franchisee Marcos Blanco, who has opened three locations in the past eight months. “Our support team is always finding creative ways to enhance the guest experience and draw in new people to try poke. But the best thing is they work with you, lockstep, so you know what is being done, how it will impact your restaurant and what you can do to make the processes work best for your customers.”
Next steps along Pokeworks’ growth trajectory include further development of the brand’s premium offering in both new and existing markets. Pokeworks has already opened several of 12 planned new restaurants for 2023, with more on the way in existing markets including Austin, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, New York, Nashville and Phoenix. Additional locations are slated for new markets in California and Georgia, with multiple new restaurants planned for Canada before the end of the year. This aggressive growth will continue into 2024, as the brand projects to triple in size by 2025.
To learn more about Pokeworks, its locations and its full menu, visit pokeworks.com.
Pokeworks was founded in 2015 with the simple mission of spreading its love of poke – the crisp, fresh, healthy Hawaiian favorite – with the world. Pokeworks’ innovative Poke Your Way™ approach is groundbreaking, offering guests limitless ways to customize their poke order to match their eating preferences including vegan, gluten-free, and other mindful diets. The Poke Burrito has developed a cult-like following, much like Pokeworks’ proprietary sauces, which range from sweet and spicy to savory. Pokeworks believes in living a healthy lifestyle and eating meals made from the freshest, highest quality ingredients from sustainable food sources. In 2022, the brand was honored to be named the “Top Poke Franchise” by Startups Magazine. Pokeworks has quickly expanded to become the leading fast-casual poke brand in the world with four consecutive years on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list as well as Entrepreneur’s 2023 “Best of the Best Franchises” and Franchise 500 Ranking. The brand has more than 60 locations across 20 states, with Taiwan, Mexico and Canada coming soon. For more information, visit pokeworks.com or follow Pokeworks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
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