Leading Healthy Rice Bowl Chain Recognized as a “Top Five” Franchise in the Asian Food Category
City of Industry, CA (RestaurantNews.com) WaBa Grill, one of the nation’s leading healthy rice bowl chains, is proud to announce it has ranked among the nation’s top 500 franchises in Entrepreneur magazine’s coveted 2021 Franchise 500® List, to which a record number of companies applied. Along with the brand’s debut ranking, WaBa Grill was recognized as a top five franchise within the competitive Asian Food category. This news closely follows WaBa Grill’s announcement that 2020 was the brand’s best year ever in terms of sales and growth, beating out 2019 which held the previous record. Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 is the world’s most comprehensive franchise ranking, honoring companies for their exceptional performance in areas such as unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power.
“We’re proud to be recognized among the best franchise systems in the nation, it’s a great start to WaBa Grill’s 15th anniversary year,” said Mark Finnegan, Chief Marketing & Information Officer at WaBa Grill. “Our leadership team has been making many enhancements in the areas of operations, development and marketing, and it is thrilling to see our efforts pay off in system growth, an elevated guest experience and our franchisees’ bottom line.”
A variety of factors contributed to the brand’s success this past year including significantly growing digital sales channels which accounted for 25% of all business compared to 4.5% in 2019. WaBa Grill also unveiled a refreshed mobile rewards app and executed a FREE DELIVERY promotion in response to the pandemic on all orders placed via the WaBa Rewards App or WaBagrill.com. In addition, the brand’s already strong carry-out and delivery business helped to streamline the systemwide implementation of curbside pickup and expanded third-party delivery integrations with DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates.
“Franchises were able to be nimble and innovative, serving the needs of franchisees and customers in ways that will resonate for many years to come,” says Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur. “We believe that, when we eventually look back on this time, we’ll see it as a moment when many brands defined themselves for the future.”
The key factors that go into the evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. Each franchise is given a cumulative score based on an analysis of more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500® in ranking order.
Finnegan added, “Surpassing previous sales records year after year is confirmation that WaBa Grill is meeting the need of a growing demand for healthy and affordable dining options. We’re looking forward to bringing the WaBa experience to new markets with the help of franchise partners who are interested in joining a proven concept in the booming healthy fast casual segment.”
The nearly 200-unit brand is primed to continue expansion having identified ideal markets throughout the west and is seeking new franchise partners looking to expand their portfolios with an established healthy fast casual brand on the rise. For more details about partnering with WaBa Grill, visit www.wabagrill.com/franchise.
About WaBa Grill
WaBa Grill was founded in 2006 on the principle that healthy food made with quality ingredients should be accessible to all. With a goal of serving the best possible food on the go, WaBa’s famous rice bowls, plates and salads are made with fresh vegetables, healthy grains and high-quality proteins including fresh, never frozen chicken, marinated ribeye steak, wild-caught salmon, jumbo shrimp and organic tofu, all prepared to order on an open-fire grill and customized with a variety of flavorful sauces including the fan favorite WaBa Sauce. No microwaves, no frying, no artificial additives… ever. Learn more at www.WaBaGrill.com.
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