Gyu-Kaku Revamps the Dining Experience: World’s largest Japanese BBQ brand excites guests while simplifying operations and reducing expenses.

Imagine going out to eat at a Japanese restaurant and instead of ordering food from a kitchen, you pick up your own pair of tongs and grill premium meats like an expert chef. This is Gyu-Kaku’s concept—an interactive Japanese BBQ chain that lets guests become their own chefs. 

Gyu-Kaku’s concept of yakiniku, a type of Japanese-style barbecue, combines familiar aspects of traditional American barbecue and authentic Japanese dining with its indoor, smokeless roasters. Given the power to enjoy grilling with their own hands, guests themselves can master the art of Japanese BBQ anytime of the year in a smoke-free environment.

By putting the grilling into the hands of guests, Gyu-Kaku soothes some of franchisees’ top concerns about operations and cost. First, by moving the cooking of entrées out of the kitchen, operations are simplified. The kitchen in this concept primarily functions to prepare pre-sliced meats and easy-to-execute recipes before presenting it to the tables. Guests are then instructed on the cooking process by wait staff, which eliminates the costly expense of hiring an executive chef. 

This concept also offers a streamlined service reminiscent of the quick-service industry, while continuing to provide guests the convenience of a full-service atmosphere and table service.

“It offers a great new opportunity for fast food players to enter and diversify their portfolio,” says Aki Yamaguchi, COO at Reins USA Franchise Company, Inc., the parent company of Gyu-Kaku.

Many of the company’s franchisees have come from its base of loyal customers, and with the training and assistance of the brand’s corporate team, they have become successful restaurant owners.

“[My family] loved the Gyu-Kaku concept from the first time we dined there,” says Ed, a franchisee from California. “The corporate franchise team is very supportive and has helped us tremendously. We now have two locations and are continuing to seek new locations to expand. The guests love dining in the restaurant because the food is so delicious and the dining experience is like no other. Gyu-Kaku is a great franchise to own.” 

Gyu-Kaku is looking to continue its growth in the U.S. and wants franchisees dedicated to bringing happiness to people’s daily lives. Potential franchisees must meet the minimum necessary investments, and at least one partner, either owner or principal, must have one to two years of restaurant experience.

When franchisees join Gyu-Kaku they can count on support directly from the company for training, site selection, local marketing, and location-specific pricing and promotions that can help increase traffic to restaurants. The chain’s mobile loyalty program and email marketing also help draw repeat guests.

With its unique concept and loyal fan base, Gyu-Kaku is a diverse, cost-effective portfolio offering for franchisees, providing ample room for business growth.

“I believe that Gyu-Kaku has become a brand that many customers have come to trust,” Yamaguchi says. “Because of our efforts to exceed expectations through not only our food, but also our service and atmosphere, we continuously strive to spread the joy of yakiniku across North America.”

For more information about franchising opportunities with Gyu-Kaku, visit