Financially, it makes sense for Fuku to take advantage of moving into the concessions arena. It’s quicker to open and so far they’ve had a lot of success generating revenue, Muñoz-Suarez says.
“It’s a very tight inner circle that runs and operates those arenas or those stadiums,” he says. "And once you get the reputation that you're good operators and well received by guests, the emails come through fairly quickly, and it requires little to no capital on our side.”
Sports fans can find Fuku stands in some of the nation's biggest stadiums, including Madison Square Garden in New York City; Audi Field in Washington D.C.; and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
As far as expanding the footprint of its other stores, Fuku is in a solid place to ramp up, Muñoz-Suarez says. After working out the kinks over the past few years, operations have been fine-tuned. Another store in New York City will open this summer.
“It takes a little bit of blood, sweat, and tears,” Muñoz-Suarez says. “But after that, then you get the process well, and systems and processes right. And then it's much, much easier. “
Growth is more of an art than a science, Muñoz-Suarez says.
“We look at each other and just get a sense of like wow things are much better, operations are smoother, our food costs are more in line,” he says. “[We’re] introducing new things—which is a thing that’s near and dear to Dave and the way he operates restaurants. We've now got operations that seamlessly get us through that process in a much smoother way.”
As Chang has grown his restaurant empire across the country, it’s only natural for Fuku to open in markets where his restaurants already have a presence.
“We're sort of planting our Fuku flag to piggyback off of the success Dave and Momofuku’s has had with Majordomo and the continued development of Momofuku brands in the Los Angeles area,” Muñoz-Suarez says. “We have the Momofuku Noodle Bar opening up there shortly. It’s a market that we're continuing to see continued growth in.”