Adding Heart to the Franchise Business Model

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Food is serious business. Now, on The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia will invite insiders on the front lines of food to share their expertise, strategies, and forecasts for navigating the ever-changing restaurant industry.


Many restaurants suffered big blows during the pandemic, but not Teriyaki Madness. It experienced growth and expansion. So, what’s their secret recipe for success? Host Barbara Castiglia spoke with CEO Michael Haith to learn how they’re doing it.

“Franchising with a Soul means it’s not a cookie-cutter concept. There are commonalities, but franchisees have the opportunity to put in their own personality.” – Michael Haith

Haith has been franchising his entire career, and buying Teriyaki Madness checked all the boxes. “It’s good, fresh food that’s healthy. We consider our shops to be neighborhood joints that offer customers the chance to make a meal the way they want it.”

The company’s growth is also because of its franchising business model, which they call “Franchising with a Soul.” Haith explained, “It means it’s not a cookie-cutter concept. There are commonalities, but franchisees have the opportunity to put in their own personality.”

The strong business model also sustained them in the pandemic. “We didn’t really pivot because technology has always been a cornerstone for us. With a good model, people processes, and systems, technology allows for execution. We let the customer choose how to interact. It may be the perfect pandemic business model,” Haith explained.

The recipe for winning with people, process, and technology also serves the customer. The company already had a strong off-premise program, offering convenience to the customer with freshly made, high-quality food.

For the industry itself, Haith believes COVID forced evolution in the industry. His company was just ahead of the curve, opening numerous new locations in the last year with more to come.

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