Popular poke bowl brand positions itself for further growth, innovation and industry leadership with new appointment and return of founding partners
Pokeworks announced today a strategic transition in its leadership team as Regina Cheung has been elevated from Chief Financial Officer to the role of Chief Executive Officer. She will pulling double duty as she retains the title of CFO as well.
During her tenure as CFO, Cheung successfully created a data-driven culture focused on achieving the brand’s KPIs, built strong relationships with franchisees and modernized the company’s systems and infrastructure. In her new role as CEO, she is turning her focus to increasing franchise profitability, introducing the brand to new markets and leveraging the knowledge and talents of Pokeworks’ team and board members, including the original founders and Toridoll Holdings, to build a sustainable and scalable franchise business.
“I like to think of myself as a servant-leader to the team and our franchise owners,” Cheung said. “I want the whole team to feel a positive energy when they come to work and I think that is important for upholding Pokeworks’ core values and culture, which will ultimately lead to accelerated growth and innovation.
“In addition, I’m a loyal customer, and my entire family – including my 9-year-old daughter – absolutely loves the food and can’t get enough,” continued Cheung. “I’m also passionate about our entrepreneurial spirit; we are professional, but we’re also scrappy and growing every day.”
Cheung will be the company’s first female and Asian-American CEO – something Co-Founder Mike Chen believes is important for the brand. As the company prepares to expand outside of the U.S. for the first time – with several new locations opening soon in the Toronto area before the end of the year – keeping the authentic flavors of Asian cuisine at the forefront is a primary goal for the brand.
“Poke plays a large role in Asian food culture,” Chen said. “Having a leader who shares that culture as part of her DNA will help us maintain our authenticity. We expect big things from Regina in her new role and can’t wait to see where she leads us in the months and years ahead.”
Chen noted that he and his fellow co-founders are returning to the brand in various consultative capacities, offering their expertise and support to Cheung and the management team as the brand enters a new stage of growth.
Pokeworks was founded in 2015 with the simple mission of spreading its love of poke – the crisp, fresh, healthy Hawaiian favorite – with the world. Pokeworks’ innovative Poke Your Way approach is groundbreaking, offering guests limitless ways to customize their poke order to match their eating preferences including vegan, gluten-free, and other mindful diets. The Poke Burrito has developed a cult-like following, much like Pokeworks’ proprietary sauces, which range from sweet and spicy to savory. Pokeworks believes in living a healthy lifestyle and eating meals made from the freshest, highest quality ingredients from sustainable food sources. In 2022, the brand was honored to be named the “Top Poke Franchise” by Startups Magazine. Pokeworks has quickly expanded to become the leading fast-casual poke brand in the world with three consecutive years on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list. The brand has more than 60 locations across 20 states, with Taiwan, Mexico and Canada coming soon.
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