Trends have confirmed that today’s typical franchisee is not the exact person it was just a decade ago. Our research and development team at Aloha Poke Co. regularly checks on the path of these trends, and one of the segments we’ve seen rapid growth is Millennials. According to Franchise News, people around the ages of 23-38 have now reached 22.3% of all franchise inquiries as of 2019.
This is something that our poke bowl franchise has noticed firsthand, which is why we want to introduce you to Aloha Poke Co., owner, and Millennial multi-unit mastermind, Scott Miller. When Scott was just a few years out of college, he decided to apply his experience in financing to a business of his own. He knew he had the discipline and business-savvy to take an entrepreneurial route, and franchising was the perfect way for him to get involved quickly.
“What appealed to me about franchising was the concept of plugging myself into an already established business model. Although my background was not in restaurants, I was confident that I’d be able to follow the systems and procedures created by the successful franchisor,” said Scott.
Finding the Right Franchisee
Scott’s next steps were to find a brand and an industry primed for profitability. What he wanted was a brand and product that people would love for years to come. He did his research, conducted a competitive analysis, and took action on Aloha Poke’s Hawaiian franchise. Scott explained,
The poke bowl industry aligns with what consumers want today and what the trends predict they’ll want tomorrow. Consumers demand a customizable high-quality product prepared quickly that is both healthy and delicious. It’s not always easy to check all of those boxes, but the poke bowl franchise industry has figured it out. The immediate success and praise that Aloha Poke received in Chicago stood out to me. There was clearly a demand for this concept, and Aloha Poke’s execution was far better than their competition. From an investment perspective, I was excited about the ROI potential considering the low start-up cost and smaller footprint resulting in reduced occupancy cost.
For Aloha, the collaboration was a clear no-brainer. Scott was looking for a brand culture aligned with his objectives and vision of creating a winning environment for everyone. As a store owner, he is in charge of supporting his staff and closely tracking his daily costs and sales. Scott took full advantage of his training at our Chicago location to learn the ropes and get started when he felt comfortable.
“After several weeks working with the Chicago team, I felt confident about branching off and building my own restaurants. The corporate office has been an incredible resource and is always just a phone call away from immediate assistance,” he said.
COVID-19 from Scott’s Perspective
What Scott didn’t expect was the quick twist that 2020 took that affected the restaurant industry. Today there are record numbers of businesses closing, some permanently. For a young business owner, it would be easy to assume that this environment could be overwhelming, but Scott stayed standing on his feet.
“The pandemic has had an effect on all restaurants; however, Aloha Poke is better positioned to overcome these obstacles. Aloha’s smaller average footprint is a competitive advantage keeping monthly occupancy cost at a minimum,” he pointed out. Scott went on to say, “Aloha is also not afraid of working with new technology. By streamlining our POS system with 3rd party integration, Aloha has been able to maximize efficiency on this additional revenue stream.”
Scott’s number one tip for someone who is thinking about taking his same path is to make sure you see success first and scale accordingly. Even in a franchise system, it takes some time to fully understand the customer, your competition, and the industry overall. Scott Miller has transitioned beautifully into our poke bowl franchise, and we wish him nothing but success in 2021.
Can you relate to Scott’s story? Are you interested in opening a Hawaiian franchise of your own but are still looking for the right franchisor? We can help — contact a member of the Aloha team today.