The new standard for quick and affordable service.

Sponsored by Pepper Lunch.

Today’s quick-service customers, especially younger generations, seek more than just a meal. They want an experience, customization, and quality food at a good price. Staying relevant is crucial, and Pepper Lunch, renowned for its unique DIY teppanyaki dining experience, is setting the stage for culinary innovation with significant upgrades to its menu. 

“We started on this project to elevate the entire menu about 10 months ago,” says Troy Hooper, CEO of Hot Palate America, the parent company of Pepper Lunch in North America. “Does the menu resonate with the US consumer? Does it resonate with the up-and-coming Gen Z consumer?” This introspection led to a comprehensive review and update aimed at ensuring menu offerings reflect the latest culinary trends while maintaining the brand’s core values. 

“Most people go to Pepper Lunch and spend around $18 and think, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so much better than I expected,’” Hooper says. The upgraded menu now boasts higher quality proteins, including Certified Angus Beef, sustainably sourced seafood, locally produced proprietary sauces, replaces Bean Sprouts with a Cabbage-Brussel-Kale Mix, all without raising costs to our partners or prices to our customers, showing a commitment to the highest quality standards balanced with affordability.

For franchisees, these menu upgrades mean more than just satisfied customers—it represents a strategic advantage. By improving ingredient quality and streamlining operations, Pepper Lunch has enhanced its value proposition significantly. 

“We’ve dramatically improved the quality for our franchisees to support operators against the growing cost pressures of the market,” Mark Bailey, COO says. 

Furthermore, Pepper Lunch has worked with its vendors to further simplify its operations and meet its commitment to No Prep in-house by removing knives from the kitchen, thus reducing labor time, and most importantly mitigating unnecessary safety risks.

The move to a true no-prep kitchen model by eliminating complex preparation processes, is particularly beneficial in reducing labor costs and the need for specifically skilled workers, making it easier for franchisees to maintain high standards with minimal staff. These enhancements are designed to support franchisees with a streamlined, efficient, and profitable business model.

To further enhance the dining experience, Pepper Lunch is introducing new store prototypes featuring digital kiosk ordering systems. This approach combines the efficiency of digital ordering with the personal touch of human interaction, creating a seamless and engaging experience for guests.

“We are providing what we call our Hospitality Host,” Hooper says. “Someone who’s going to be there to answer questions, make suggestions, guide you through the experience, and be an ambassador for the brand.” 

Pepper Lunch’s proactive approach to menu upgrades and operational enhancements positions it as an exciting and profitable franchise opportunity. With a robust national rollout plan, including new locations in Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, Utah, and more, Pepper Lunch is poised for continued growth and success with a dedication to authenticity and trendsetting Asian flavors.

“I don’t think there is a brand out there that delivers the level of quality, value proposition, speed, and the experiential dining journey that we offer,” Hooper says. “We remain wholly and completely authentic to our foundation while improving the quality and sustainability of our ingredients and continued upgrades to our operations.”

To learn more about Pepper Lunch and its franchising opportunities, visit their website. 

By Drew Filipski 

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