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Why simpler is better for emerging fast-casual franchise Aloha Poke

The Chicago-based restaurant chain helmed by CEO Chris Birkinshaw is attracting franchise partners through its simple, efficient business model.


Restaurants can be a complex business. From their cooking equipment to their POS devices to their service structures, restaurants can be bustling, loud, stressful places to work.

But for one Chicago-based poke chain, success is all about making things as easy as possible to operate for both the employee and the franchisee.

Aloha Poke, which has 18 locations open and eight more planned for 2022, has mastered a streamlined store footprint and business model that CEO Chris Birkinshaw said is appealing to franchisees as it seeks to grow across the U.S.

In this episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches, Birkinshaw talks with Nation’s Restaurant News editor in chief Sam Oches about that streamlined model and how it’s helping to lure potential franchisees and simultaneously build visit frequency with guests. In this conversation, you’ll find out why: 

  • The poke category has staying power — with the right pieces in place
  • In franchising, the simpler the better
  • Everything on your menu should have a purpose
  • The key to your future success is owning the relationship with your guest 

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected]

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