Could This Fast-Food Company Be America's Best Restaurant Chain Fighting Obesity?

Image provided by Muscle Maker. 

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

The insatiable appetite of Americans for fast food is causing many to become obese. The junk food habit is plunging a huge chunk of the population into an abyss of ill health and a mountain of debt or piles of bills.

Fast foods, as quick and delicious as they may be, are rewarding avid consumers with serious health complications or a one-way ticket to their early graves.

Suppose an individual does not suffer premature death. In that case, the chances are high they’ll suffer from diabetes, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, gallbladder disease, fatty liver, joint disorders and some cancers — unless the person hitches a salvation ride back to a healthier lifestyle.

Behavioral, cultural, environmental and socioeconomic influences are among several factors influencing the food choices of Americans today.

The consumption of fast foods or food eaten away from home — from restaurant giants like McDonald's MCD, Burger King, a division of Restaurant Brands International QSR, The Wendy's Co. WEN and KFC, a division of YUM! Brands Inc. YUM, — has risen alarmingly over the past 4 decades.

These foods cause more harm to the body than good because they are typically high in calories, fat, sugar, simple carbohydrates and salt — all of which cause weight gain and lead to obesity.

Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is an age-old epidemic that has ravaged lives in the U.S. Many Americans are not burning fat; they are storing it in excess and becoming overweight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity is about 40% among adults ages 20 to 39; 44.8% among adults ages 40 to 59; and 42.8% among adults 60 and older.

Statistics also indicate that in 1995, there were an estimated 200 million obese adults worldwide. The number of obese adults has increased to more than 300 million as of 2000.

Increasing numbers mean increasing spending. America is spending approximately $170 billion in extra medical costs per year on the obesity epidemic, and that amount is set to balloon even further. People with severe obesity are the most impacted as their excess healthcare costs reach more than $3,000 a year.

As costs and the number of obesity cases continue to soar, there is an urgent need for people to eat healthily. Unfortunately, most fast-food outlets are not helping the situation.

The government, health experts and other agencies are constantly developing strategies to sensitize and help Americans make healthy life and food choices.

Fast Food That Is Healthy

Muscle Maker Inc. GRIL saw the need to change the fast-food trend in order to save lives and started a chain of outlets that feature healthier, high-quality, great-tasting food freshly prepared with proprietary recipes. Even its tagline “healthier for you” suggests the company’s commitment to improving people’s dietary habits.

The company’s Muscle Maker Grill was established as an antidote to fast food. It is a chain of fast-casual restaurants that offers healthy versions of some favorite dishes that taste great — it’s great food with the customer’s health in mind.

Founded in 1995 in Colonia, New Jersey, the company has grown from 1 tiny store to an international brand in 50 locations with more than 1,000 employees.

The company’s goal is to make a difference in the way Americans eat. Muscle Maker Grill’s menu has options for high-protein, low-carb, gluten-free and organic dishes that are always served fresh.

Another offering from Muscle Maker is Jacksonville, Florida-based Superfit Foods,  a fresh-prepared meal prep company focused on delivering dietary-specific meals directly to consumers’ homes or designated pick-up locations.

The company also owns Pokemoto, a fresh ingredient Hawaiian poke bowl concept. Pokemoto features fresh Atlantic salmon, sushi-grade tuna, chicken, shrimp, tofu, fresh fruits and vegetables and proprietary sauces and recipes.

Franchising and Expansion

Muscle Maker’s goal is to serve more Americans with its unique assortment of healthy food. The company is constantly on the lookout for enthusiastic, passionate franchisees ready to join the family as it continues to expand.

The company provides comprehensive training that empowers franchisees to launch their restaurants. It doesn’t end there — Muscle Maker also offers ongoing assistance to ensure continual growth.

Muscle Maker announced Nov. 1 that it had inked a master franchise agreement for 40 units in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, solidifying the company’s 2nd multiunit international deal.

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, and the newly signed agreement will grow the company’s international footprint by 400%. Muscle Maker Grill previously signed a 10-unit deal in Kuwait.

“We’re thrilled that growth plans with our Kuwaiti partners are coming to fruition by expanding ‘healthier for you’ options into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to research, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fitness service market is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2022, stressing the need for healthier dining options,” Muscle Maker Inc. CEO Mike Roper said about the deal.

Pokemoto, Muscle Makers newest “healthier for you” acquisition, announced on Nov. 4 that it had inked 5 franchise agreements entering the New York and Massachusetts markets.  These recent signings expand the Pokemoto concept by 28%.   According to Micheal Roper, Muscle Maker Inc. CEO, “Our strategy for Pokemoto growth focuses on franchising.  We are at the beginning stages of executing against this strategy and are already seeing our initial efforts coming to fruition by signing up these five new franchise locations in a very short period of time.  Our franchising team has set the bar high on bringing on new franchise partners and entering new markets and is working tirelessly to build the brand’s traditional and non-traditional pipeline. We believe the poke industry shows serious growth potential and it is our goal to continue to capitalize in this market into the new year.”

It seems like Muscle Maker is serious about expanding its “healthier for you” options. 

Read more about Muscle Maker Grill here.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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