Pokéworks Inks First International Master Franchise Agreement in Mexico
Nation’s Leading Poke Franchise Unveils Mexico Expansion; Appoints Serial Entrepreneurs to Lead Efforts
September 17, 2018 // Franchising.com // IRVINE, Ca. - In the midst of its aggressive domestic and international growth strategy meant to propel the brand to the top of its segment, Pokéworks, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing poke franchises, announces its inaugural expansion abroad through the signing of a Master Franchise Agreement in Mexico. To further fuel its robust growth plans to reach more than 400 units, initial Pokéworks locations are targeted for emerging Mexico cities such as San Luis Potosi, with additional locations aimed toward primary cities including Monterrey, Ciudad de Mexico, Guadalajara and the Bajio region of West North-Central Mexico.
The Mexico development will be led by newly-formed restaurant investment group OPERADORA RAU of Credian, a prominent global financial institution. With broad business expertise that includes decades of combined experience in restaurant consulting, the group also oversees the daily operations of multiple brands including several Wingstop, Circus Park and Berlitz Language franchises, among other businesses.
“Recognized as one the most promising and emerging countries in the world, development in Mexico provides us with the opportunity to introduce the Pokéworks concept to an untapped market ideal for expansion,” said Michael Wu, CEO of Pokéworks. “As Mexico continues to promote the importance of a healthy diet and exercise to its residents, we are confident Pokéworks will bring access to fresh, healthy alternatives to traditional fast-food options.”
Recognizing the unmatched potential of the Pokéworks brand, OPERADORA RAU was inspired to join forces with the franchise as the company strongly believes in the healthy fast-casual concept’s relevance to the local Mexican culture. Perfectly positioned in the rapidly-growing millennial generation dining segment - focused on nutritional and multicultural interests - the group plans to leverage their substantial restaurant industry and market knowledge to grow the Pokéworks brand throughout the country.
“It is no secret that Pokéworks has witnessed impressive success by appealing to the demand for healthy, fast and affordable food options,” said Antonio Musa Celis, CEO and Director General of OPERADORA RAU. “We are excited to combine our group’s broad perspective and diversified skills with Pokéworks’ already multifaceted leadership team to cultivate a development strategy focused on quality and authenticity in Mexico.”
To amplify global franchise growth, Pokéworks has recently formed a partnership with the $1.6 billion publicly traded restaurant giant, Toridoll Holdings Corporation (TYO: 3397), which currently operates 1,028 quality restaurant locations in Japan and 533 overseas. Specifically structured to leverage Toridoll’s considerable expertise in global brand development, Pokéworks identifies its Mexico expansion as a testament to the momentous growth to come as the poke segment leaders in quality and average unit volume.
Pokéworks is seeking experienced multi-unit partners worldwide to invest in the well-engineered franchise with healthy menu, minimal build-out and labor costs. The millennial focused fast-casual opportunity provides comprehensive training programs and dedicated support teams to assist in on-boarding, development and ongoing operations. The initial franchise fee for Pokéworks is $35,000 with the total single-unit investment ranging from $250,000 to $850,000.
Founded in 2015, Pokéworks is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing poke brands in North America with nearly 20 locations open and more than 120 under development. Offering guests an authentic taste of the islands, Pokéworks in collaboration with Bravo’s Top Chef Sheldon Simeon, provides a fresh take on Hawaiian-inspired poke burritos, bowls and salads derived from the highest quality ingredients from local waters. The brand’s chef-driven menu allows for complete customization to cater to almost anyone, including those maintaining gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan as well as cooked or raw protein diets.