A Recession, Huh? Teriyaki Madness Says Bring it On

A Recession, Huh? Teriyaki Madness Says Bring it On

Through 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seattle-style teriyaki franchise has proven itself to be a recession-resistant investment opportunity time and time again.

A Recession, Huh? Teriyaki Madness Says Bring it OnClose your eyes. We’d like to take you back to a nostalgic time — a time of Flo Rida, Blackberry phones and… economic collapse. The 2008 recession. Teriyaki Madness, the fast-growing teriyaki franchise with 130+ shops, was just a young up-and-comer at the time. But, despite being an emerging brand, the franchise concept proved to be uniquely recession-proof, seeing a mind-blowing systemwide growth of approximately 20% during the economic downturn. Now, with experts predicting the long term impacts of recession this year, let’s just say Teriyaki Madness isn’t shaking in its boots.

“Times of economic hardship see people trading down from casual dining options to more reasonable take-out options, like us,” said Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith. “But when they do decide to order food and take it home, they want it to be something they couldn’t just cook themselves, and they want it to be good for the whole family. That is why ethnic fast casuals do incredibly well when people are looking to save money. People want to ‘splurge’ on things they can afford like restaurant food even during a downturn”. 

Of course, people don’t need to look all the way back to 2008 for an example of Teriyaki Madness’ resilience. Anyone remember that little thing that happened called… COVID-19.

“The pandemic reiterated something we already knew to be true: Asian food travels well,” said Haith. “We are the largest branded Asian food delivery concept in the U.S. We’ve invested a lot into our ordering technology, ensuring that it is convenient, easy to use and professional. Our tech stack has been a focus of our franchise system for seven years now and it provided an opportunity for us to stand out as a popular no-contact option during lockdowns.”

Over the past few years, TMAD built a best-in-class technology suite and POS platform that allows customers to order from the TMAD app or online, get their food delivered, while also enjoying a seamless and easy experience. This has been and will continue to prove to be a major advantage moving forward, Haith notes, as third-party delivery is one of the first services people drop when they are focused on their budget. TMAD is also able to keep menu prices lower on its own site compared to third-party delivery sites since they don’t need to worry about paying a commission. This proprietary platform kept the brand ahead during the pandemic while many other brands were struggling to pivot.

Behind the scenes, Teriyaki Madness has worked hard to design a business model with minimal employees compared to other restaurant brands because of its simple and efficient menu, Haith says. That allows shop owners to save money on extensive training and staffing, which is a huge advantage during both inflationary times and economic downturns.

Additionally, Teriyaki Madness is designed to provide shop owners with as much support as possible, which proved to be another advantage during the pandemic.

“We’ve got 50-plus support staff for about 130 shops — that almost 1-to-3 ratio is probably one of the best in the business,” said Haith. “We want to be there to support our franchisees, especially because a lot of them don’t have that restaurant experience. We provide a huge amount of training and support, and that ensures we are even more resilient against challenging times.”

Clearly, TMAD is doing something right — the brand opened a ton of stores between 2020 and 2022, a time in which most restaurant concepts were just trying to get by. In fact, TMAD was ranked as the fastest-growing franchise system in 2021, with a 54% growth rate and CAGR of 39%.

“A restaurant concept growing by more than a third is unheard of, and we did it during a frickin’ pandemic!” said Haith. “Because of our simplicity, technology and business model, Teriyaki Madness has thrived over the past two years, and now we invite a recession because we are perfectly positioned for it. We grew 20% during the last recession and over 50% during COVID. If next year is going to bring a recession, we say, ‘Bring it on.’”

If you’ve read this far, you know – Teriyaki Madness is making big moves. Named the #1 Fastest-Growing Big Restaurant Chain in the U.S. by Restaurant Business, TMAD’s secret sauce lies in creating value for franchisees, guests and employees alike. More than 130 shops across three countries deliver big, heaping bowls of fresh, natural ingredients to their communities, creating a cult-like following with customers, employment opportunities for neighborhoods, and profitable margins for the operators. Backed by world-class delivery and loyalty innovations and an all-star Executive Team, Teriyaki Madness’ focus is on sustainable growth and exceptional experiences. Visit www.franchise.teriyakimadness.com for single and multi-unit opportunities, and join the Teriyaki Takeover.