The legacy brand has a new lookand unlimited white space.

In many ways, Genghis Grill was before its time. Long before other brands were leaning into customization and menu items with a health halo, Genghis Grill was founded in 1998 as a design-your-own bowl concept beloved by all different types of diners.

Guests at Genghis Grill come in and select from over 80 of the freshest ingredients—from proteins to hand-cut veggies to signature sauces and spices. Genghis Grill has also always offered a variety of chef-curated bowls for every type of eater and dietary lifestyle.

“Genghis Grill is a really fun concept that has absolutely no competitor in the space,” says Craveworthy Brands CEO Gregg Majewski. “We are the king of this space already. We have so much white space because nobody does it like we do.”

When Majewski and his team acquired Genghis Grill in 2021, Majewski put his Jimmy John’s hat on. As the former CEO of the “freaky fast” sandwich concept, Majewski saw a world where Genghis Grill customers could have all of the upside of customizing their own bowl and watching it get cooked to order with none of the downside of having to wait too long.

Under Majewski’s leadership, the brand transitioned from a full-service restaurant model to a fast-casual concept, cutting staffing from 15–20 team members during peak hours down to 5–7. Suddenly, fresh bowls were coming out in a maximum of 3–5 minutes during those peak hours. With streamlined operations, the brand is now a 50-plus unit concept and has already sold 24 franchise agreements in 2022.

Genghis Grill

FRANCHISE FEE: Single Unit – $30,000; Additional Units – $20,000 each; development fee – $10,000, credited to franchise fee
TOTAL START-UP COSTS: $450,000–$975,000/store

“Genghis Grill is by far the easiest concept that we have,” Majewski says. “Guests come down the line and point to what they want and it’s cooked in the time it takes to cook a burger.”

When taking a look at the brand’s menu prices, it’s easy to see another reason why guests love Genghis Grill. The concept offers 20 of its bowls for under $10—Chef Bowls and Fried Rice Bowls are available for $9.99 or less. The brand recently launched a new “VALUEBOWLS” lineup with bowls priced under $8. There’s plenty of margin left for the operator, too: the COGS for VALUEBOWLS run between 18–23 percent, while Chef Bowls’ COGS average between 15–30 percent.

Another area where Genghis Grill continues to grow is its off-premise ordering channels. Genghis Grill locations currently do about 30 percent of their orders to-go, with goals to grow that number to 50 percent at future stores. Best of all, Genghis Grill’s intentional move away from solely Asian stir-fry and push towards more global influences has showcased the capacity of the ingredients—and franchisees benefit from the new menu with boosted productivity, reduced complexity, and increased profitability.

The white space is all ours in this category,” Majewski says. “The way customers are eating now, everything is customized, they want food on the go. This is truly the perfect concept to fill both of those needs.”

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By Charlie Pogacar

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