Aiming to fill a much-needed gap in the booming food truck scene, the Seattle-style teriyaki franchise is partnering with franchisee Katie Catlin to test the first-of-its-kind mobile concept in Lapeer, Michigan.
Teriyaki on the go? You better truckin’ believe it! For the very first time, Teriyaki Madness, the Seattle-style teriyaki shop franchise, is taking the madness to the streets with the recent rollout of its flagship food truck. The brand will be able to bring its menu of high-quality, craveable teriyaki bowls to events in and around Lapeer, Michigan as a test for possible future options in the business model. And who’s behind the wheel of this innovative teriyaki-mobile? Well, that would be Teriyaki Madness franchisee Katie Catlin.
Catlin comes from a long career in corporate America, including positions with staffing companies, as well as professional, technical and industrial support for health care agencies. When it was time to become her own boss and secure a legacy for her family, Catlin immediately recognized the benefits of taking the franchising route.
“I am very aggressive — I know what I want to accomplish, but sometimes I need that assistance and background to bring it to fruition,” said Catlin. “Franchising gives me that infrastructure, and I love the food space because people are always happier with a full belly. For someone like me, who is a working mom who loves to host events and bring people together, food service is the perfect industry. But I’ve never opened a restaurant, so franchising gave me a proven business model. I am good at taking a vision and executing on it.”
Catlin looked at several restaurant concepts — pizza places, BBQ spots, burger joints — but when she heard the magic words “Teriyaki Madness,” she said it stopped her in her tracks. “I learned about the brand’s vision, the concept, the made-to-order menu and fresh ingredients,” she said. “I drove 47 minutes to the nearest location, sat down and ordered the food. I fell in love right away. And I am the pickiest eater, so I knew others would feel the same way.”
When Catlin opened her brick-and-mortar Teriyaki Madness restaurant in Lapeer in 2019, that theory proved to be true. Now, three years later, Catlin is taking things to a whole new level as the driving force behind the brand’s very first food truck.
“So many customers came to me and told me how hard it was to find an Asian food truck concept that could come to their event,” said Catlin. “The COVID-19 pandemic also played a huge role in that. Food trucks have skyrocketed in popularity all over the country and there is a huge need for this in my local state. We have a market here to fill. I went to the corporate team, showed them the research, and we collaborated on how to do the marketing, build a limited menu and come up with a plan.”
With her new food truck, Catlin says she is eager to not only bring in additional revenue to her shop but also potentially benefit the Teriyaki Madness brand as a whole.
“If people love the concept and start to follow the food truck, it brings more revenue and folds back into my shop and surrounding shops,” said Catlin. “There are opportunities to bring the truck all over the state, and we have all kinds of events already scheduled, including festivals, music concerts, car shows and more. I want all my franchise friends to enjoy the revenue and brand recognition that could be generated from this. But it’s not only about revenue; the truck will also allow us to impact the community. We are donating to city schools, therapeutic horseback riding organizations and more.”
Looking ahead, Catlin aims to open more brick-and-mortar Teriyaki Madness shops in the future and hopes food trucks will become a common staple of the brand.
“For too long, the food truck scene has been deprived of a real, high-quality teriyaki concept, and we were so lucky to find a partner like Katie who was determined to change that with Teriyaki Madness,” said Michael Haith, CEO of Teriyaki Madness. “Opening our first food truck is obviously a huge milestone for us as a brand, and now that we have the green light, we are excited to get this show on the road.”
Fast-casual teriyaki shop franchise Teriyaki Madness is committed to unconditionally satisfying guests by offering delicious, made-to-order, healthy (or not) bowls, apps and sides, prepared with fresh, all-natural ingredients served quickly and at a reasonable price. Guests can enjoy their bowls in the shop or order through the mobile app for delivery or curbside pickup. Teriyaki Madness has been ranked on Entrepreneur’s Top Food Franchises, FastCasual’s Movers and Shakers in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, the Inc. 5000 list for three straight years, and was named the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the United States by Restaurant Business in 2021. Founded in 2003, the brand currently has more than 100 shops open, with franchising opportunities nationwide for qualified single and multi-unit candidates. For more information, visit www.franchise.teriyakimadness.com.
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