Aloha Poke Co., the nation’s premier fast-casual poke restaurant concept, today announced its expansion plans into the Atlanta market with local entrepreneur and franchise veteran Randy Elias at the helm. This venture marks the first Aloha Poke fast-casual eatery in the state of Georgia, with potential to add more throughout 2022. Aloha Poke’s Atlanta expansion signals a surge in growth for the popular poke brand and follows major growth in Texas and other states. Aloha Poke’s success is built on the concept’s customer-centric brand promise to offer fast, fresh-packed sashimi-grade seafood along with other unprocessed, natural ingredients.
“Aloha Poke Co. is thrilled to come to Georgia,” says Chris Birkinshaw, CEO, Aloha Poke Co. “We are happy that the people of Atlanta and surrounding communities will have access to our poke bowls, which infuse delicious, nutritious, and natural ingredients, especially at a time of heightened awareness around the quality and healthfulness of fast-casual menus.”
The Aloha Poke expansion in Georgia is spearheaded by veteran franchise entrepreneur, Randy Elias, who joins the Aloha Poke brand after a more than twenty-year career in fast-casual franchising. Elias’ portfolio includes several Moe’s Southwest Grill in Acworth and Cartersville communities along with other fast casual ventures. In addition to the beauty of the poke bowl presentation, Elias sought out Aloha Poke franchising to simplify his franchise portfolio and was attracted to the brand’s franchise development program, the projected return on investment, the efficiency of operations, and low labor requirements.
“I have seen many different franchise concepts that require complex back-of-house build outs and cooking staff and are now experiencing the strain caused by current labor issues, economic turmoil, and supply chain challenges,” says Elias. “Aloha Poke’s brand development strategy and buildout requires much less to start and maintain, while still offering an attractive return on investment year-over-year. I feel that concepts like Aloha Poke are part of the fast-casual evolution toward offering higher-quality menu offerings as we continue to navigate pandemic-related disruptions.”
Fast-Casual Portfolio Simplification Trends
With the sharp acceleration of convenience trends due to the pandemic, restaurateurs and brands must anticipate customers’ needs post-COVID. As multi-unit, multi-brand franchisees seek to craft the most profitable franchise portfolio, many have turned to diversification to maximize returns. Since the pandemic, this diversification strategy has often turned to simplification, especially for restaurateurs faced with ongoing challenges associated with untenable shortages of line cooks, servers and kitchen staff, and an unpredictable, upside-down supply chain. Additionally, as inflation edges upward, and regulations or market forces push hourly wages upwards of $15 per hour, many brands either are forced to pass along rapidly rising costs to customers or are stagnating without the workers and supplies needed to grow their business.
Based in Chicago, Aloha Poke currently operates 17 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, and Washington, D.C. In addition to the brand’s responsibly sourced menu and simple, efficient operations, franchise restaurant investors take an interest in Aloha Poke because of its attractive initial capital requirements, unit economics, and appealing sales-to-investment figures.
Aloha Poke is actively seeking to grow its exciting health-forward, fast-casual concept with qualified entrepreneurs and experienced restaurant franchisees who share the brand’s same passion and energy for life. Ideal Aloha Poke franchisees have restaurant operations or business management experience and share the desire to positively impact the country’s need for quick, beautiful, sustainable poke bowls.