Pokeworks opened its first concept in New York City at the end of 2015, next to a two-story Chick-fil-A unit. "It was the dead of winter. Their line covered our store," says Kevin Hsu, the chain's CMO and one of its founders. "It was kind of a slower start." But people started peeking into the customizable poke bowl concept, and soon an online media outlet filmed a piece about the store's sushi burrito. The video got 50 million views on Facebook, Hsu says. Since then, the chain has been busy. Pokeworks units have worked to boost operational efficiency to decrease transaction time to 25 seconds during peak hours, Hsu says. The 42-unit chain also received a minority investment last year from Japanese foodservice company Toridoll to fuel its growth. And early this year, Pokeworks launched an app with a rewards program and order-ahead functionality. "That's been showing a lot of promise so far," he says.

LocationIrvine, Calif.
2018 Systemwide Sales ($000,000)$30*
YOY Sales Change76.2%
2018 U.S. Units32
YOY Unit Change77.8%
2018 Average Unit Volume ($000)$1,210*
Future 50 Year2019
FranchisingYes
*Technomic estimate

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