“We’re looking at long-term partnerships that really kind of help us continue to grow Fuku,” she adds, from traditional brick-and-mortar eateries to unique venues. The brand will soon be entering the Las Vegas market with a “very large” concession partner who recently signed, Lezcano hints.
Fuku also has locations in New York, California, Florida, Delaware, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington, and Texas, including storefronts at iconic spots such as Hudson Yards and Rockefeller Center and in non-traditional spaces such as food halls.
Though Fuku’s growth this year has consisted of about 70 percent concession stand and 30 percent brick-and-mortar locations, Lezcano notes it will be more of an even split moving forward.
“Coming from the restaurant business, our operations are great; I want them to be excellent,” she says. “So we will begin the eateries and building the restaurants once the ones that we have now are perfect. They’re an A, and I want them to be that A-plus.”
The brand is also looking at various locations in New York to launch and operate satellite kitchens, which will tap into delivery markets not currently covered by the brand’s two eateries. (As opposed to ghost kitchens, Fuku will operate the satellites itself.)
New menu items on the horizon
One of Fuku’s clear differentiators is culinary innovation, especially creating menu items customized for certain events or venues.
“We worked also with the chefs at the Hard Rock Stadium at Levy, and we're working on innovating a Fuku Sando Cubano, so a Cuban version of the Fuku sandwich, for the Miami F1 race that is coming in May,” Lezcano says. “So I think that's something that our concessions partners are really enjoying, is how do we work with their culinary teams to create something that is very customized for the event that is taking place, but still true to our brand.”
Additionally, Fuku will be launching new menu offerings in 2023. During the second quarter, the brand will debut the Japanese Curry Sando with white or dark meat, Japanese curry, hashbrown, carrot, ginger slaw, and a bun, plus the Fuku Sando Cubano in partnership with CenterPlate and Hard Rock chefs for the Miami Open.