Here’s why Teriyaki Madness is diving into food trucks

Seattle-based Teriyaki Madness is stepping out of its comfort zone with a new direction of development: the fast-casual chain’s first food truck. Franchisee Katie Catlin originally had the idea for a food truck and saw her idea for bowls on wheels come to life in Lapeer, Michigan in May. Catlin wanted to start a food truck to expand her customer base without having to invest in brick-and-mortar (and face exorbitant real estate prices).

So far, the first Teriyaki Madness food truck has been busy catering to public events like concerts, sporting events and festivals, filling gaps in the community where other food trucks have given up or where there are has significant white space for Asians. food trucks among a sea of ​​taco and grilled cheese trucks.

“Customer feedback has been great, people keep asking where they can find us,” Catlin said. “Between the truck, our Facebook page and the actual shop, we are now able to accommodate people on a much larger scale.”

Catlin has been a Teriyaki Madness franchise for three years, and when faced with the challenge of raising awareness of the store, she first thought of going into the restaurant business, then came up with the food truck as a fun and visually attractive to develop in this area. .

“If I book events that are within five to 20 miles of my store, people could see it and like it and that could potentially bring more growth to my physical store,” Catlin said. “We’ve wanted to open more stores for some time, but capital has been tough so that’s how I could afford to do it.”

Of course, running a food truck comes with its own limitations and challenges, like menu size, which Catlin said needs to be reduced to three items (orange chicken, spicy chicken and teriyaki chicken bowls), to simplify operations. There are also the challenges of event logistics and the popularity of the truck. So far, food truck Teriyaki Madness has only held public events because they’ve been so busy the team hasn’t had time to respond to requests for appearances at weddings and birthday parties. anniversary.

But even with some of the logistical issues, Catlin’s food truck success fits in with CEO Michael Haith’s direction for the future of the brand.

“We want to bring Teriyaki Madness to the customer,” Haith said. “And wherever that is – in a ballpark, outdoor arts festival or concert. It’s rare to find something more wholesome and customizable in this type of environment.

Haith sees the first Teriyaki Madness truck as a test of what’s possible for the brand in the future: the company could use food trucks to gain exposure in a market it has yet to enter or she wishes to penetrate further. Even beyond public events, a fleet of Teriyaki Madness food trucks could take to the streets to sell food during peak lunch hours in urban areas or host private events.

“We’re not for everyone,” Haith said. “For people who really want to go out and eat a bratwurst or a corndog, I get it. But for those who want something healthier and more delicious, it’s great to have this option. And it’s amazing how many people choose this option.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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