Go! Go! Curry, a fast-casual franchise concept specializing in authentic, professionally made Japanese comfort food, has announced plans to expand its U.S. footprint beyond the New York City metro area, with a primary focus on the northeastern seaboard from Massachusetts down to Washington, D.C.
With seven locations currently open and operating throughout New York and Massachusetts, five of which have opened in the past three years alone, the company is aggressively scaling its franchise operations. The growth strategy specifically targets urban centers—with a heavy focus on the five boroughs of New York and surrounding areas, including Hoboken, New Jersey and Long Island, New York—where there is a surplus of hardworking professionals who are looking for a quick grab-and-go meal option.
“Go! Go! Curry provides a substantial, delicious and complete meal in five minutes or less. We started in Tokyo and moved to New York and over the years we’ve seen the busy, fast-paced lives of our customers. We knew that we could bring a level of comfort and peace to their day through our food,” president and CEO of Go! Go! Curry America Group LLC Tomoko Omori said. “Comfort food is universal and has wide appeal, which is why Japanese comfort food has been successful in translating across cultures. In recent years, Ramen has taken the U.S. by storm, while curry rice, a cult favorite in Japan alongside Ramen, has remained under-the-radar. That said, it is only a matter of time before mainstream America catches onto the allure, and Go! Go! Curry is proud to be integral in its proliferation.”
Go! Go! Curry originates from Kanazawa-city, Ishikawa prefecture in Japan, where founder Hirokazu Miyamori grew up. In Japan, curry is a well-known comfort food traditionally served with black, thick curry sauce over Koshihikari rice, a premium short grain rice, with very thinly shredded cabbage and Pork Katsu—a crispy, deep fried pork cutlet.
The name stems from the Japanese pronunciation of five—“Go”—and is inspired by former Japanese-American baseball legend Hideki Matsui’s jersey number 55. Like Miyamori, Matsui is a native of Kanazawa and serves as the brand’s inspiration and hero.
The very first Go! Go! Curry opened in Tokyo on May 5, 2004. After having grown to 10 locations throughout Japan, Miyamori opened his first U.S. restaurant in New York City in 2007. Today, there are 70 locations in Japan and seven in the United States—six in New York City and one in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The thriving brand serves authentic Japanese comfort food in the form of traditional curry. The curry is made using Go! Go! Curry’s 55 process: 55 minutes to stew and 5.5 hours to mature. The dish is then served with black, thick curry sauce over Koshihikari rice, a premium short grain rice, with thinly shredded cabbage. With four sizes to choose from (small, medium, large, and extra-large), each meal can be customized with six different proteins, including pork, chicken, sausage, tofu, shrimp tempura or vegetables. Additionally, customers can select from five toppings; Rakkyo (sweet pickled shallots), broiled eggs, cheese, Fukuzinzuke (pickled radish), Natto (fermented soybeans).For those new to Japanese curry, Go! Go! Curry also offers suggested meals such as the Chicken Katsu Curry, the Original Go! Go! Curry, the Home Run, the Grand Slam and the World Champion Curry.
“While Asian food is on the rise in the United States, Japanese comfort food is an untapped subgenre. Go! Go! Curry is proud to be the most active leader in the industry in the United States,” adds Omori. “Franchisees outside of New York and Cambridge will be the first in their area to bring the relatively new curry craze to their community before it becomes a saturated market like the ramen or sushi trends before it.”
According to Omori, Go! Go! Curry plans to be the premier provider of delicious fast Japanese comfort food with 55 locations across the United States and Canada by 2020. Eventually, the brand plans to open 555 stores in 55 countries.
To augment the company’s expansion initiative, Go! Go! Curry is looking for highly qualified franchise partners to bring the curry craze to their area. Including a franchise fee of $25,000, the initial investment to open a 1,200 to 1,800 sq. ft. Go! Go! Curry location ranges from $366,780 to $777,300.