Muscle Maker Could Be Showing A Commitment To Continued Growth With New CFO And Team Members

Pokemoto is a subsidiary of the Muscle Maker’s “healthier for you” brands (Photo: aliencoupons)

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In an ever-exploding fast-food industry filled with several big players, not many have a reputation for serving primarily healthy foods.

Companies like McDonald’s Corp. MCD, Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International Inc. QSR, Wendy’s Co. WEN, and KFC owner Yum! Brands Inc. YUM often serve foods that aren’t necessarily healthy.

However, Muscle Maker Inc.’s GRIL goal is to have offerings that are different. Unlike some other options, customers can choose from a wide array of healthier versions of traditional and nontraditional dishes that feature grass-fed steak, lean turkey, chicken breast, ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, tofu, and plant-based options.

The company says it looks to serve distinct foods that stick out from alternatives.

Founded in 1995, the New Jersey-based establishment owns the Muscle Maker Grill restaurants, Superfit Foods meal prep and Pokemoto Hawaiian Poke brands. The company also runs multiple ghost kitchen brands such as Meal Plan AF, Wrap it up Wraps, Bowls Deep, Mr. T’s House of Boba and Salad Vibes.

As Muscle Maker expands its footprint into new states and global markets, the company states it is beefing up its talent base to take it to the next level.

New Team Members To Enhance Growth?

One possible key addition the healthy food chain announced on Jan. 6 is Jennifer Black, the company’s new chief financial officer. Black takes over from Ferdinand Groenewald, who moved to a new role as Muscle Maker’s chief accounting officer.

The expansion of the executive team, along with the addition of Black, is designed to support Muscle Maker’s planned franchising growth strategy.

Since Nov. 1, Muscle Maker has signed development and franchise agreements for 71 new locations while also adding multiple corporately owned and operated locations.

The restaurant chain signed a 40-unit franchise development agreement in November to open Muscle Maker Grill restaurants in Saudi Arabia, while its latest acquisition, Pokemoto, reached 31 new franchise agreements during the same period.

Over the past six months, Muscle Maker has opened six new Pokemoto locations, bringing the Pokemoto total to 19, in addition to 31 newly signed franchise locations. The company also has several Company owned locations currently under construction and anticipates the Pokemoto store count will increase by 300%, since acquisition, to 52 locations when all stores are opened.

“Our team is working tirelessly to keep the momentum going into 2022 with new deals and prospective franchisee outreach along with launching marketing campaigns to fill the franchisee prospect pipeline,” Muscle Maker CEO Mike Roper said.

The company has signed leases and started construction on two corporate-owned and operated locations in the Miami and Jacksonville, Florida markets.

Expanding Franchise Sales

Muscle Maker on Jan. 13 also added new team members — Mike Spavelko, vice president of franchise sales and Jennifer Holden, director of corporate and franchise training with expertise in franchise sales and training to support Pokemoto’s growth strategy. The Company has also reached agreements with several independent sales consultants.

The new hires bring more than 80 years of restaurant growth and development experience to the company via multiple franchise brands.

Muscle Maker has reported aggressively building its franchise sales lead generation pipeline through trade shows, social media ads, search engine optimization (SEO), and digital ad campaigns and needs resources to handle the anticipated influx of franchise sales requests.

“Expanding the franchise sales team and adding dedicated training personnel directly strengthens our infrastructure to help us achieve our 2022 growth goals,” Roper said, noting that Muscle Maker also nabbed a partnership deal with Franserve, which has over 600 franchise sales consultants and other various marketing resources.

Pokemoto currently has locations in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Florida, with franchise locations coming soon in New York, Mississippi, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida.

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