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23-Year-Old Entrepreneur Continues to Build Franchise Empire with Teriyaki Madness

Kush Patel, whose portfolio also includes Tropical Smoothie Cafe and EggHolic, comes from a franchising family with a focus on convenience stores and gas stations in the Cincinnati area.

Kush Patel has been surrounded by entrepreneurial passion his entire life. His family currently owns and operates multiple gas stations and a smoke shop in the Cincinnati area. Influenced by extended family members who already owned successful Teriyaki Madness (TMAD) franchises in Nashville and Columbus, Patel conducted thorough research and, at the ambitious age of 21, dove into the world of food franchising. His ventures quickly expanded to include Tropical Smoothie Cafe and EggHolic.

Prior to becoming an owner, Patel’s perception of franchising was largely shaped by his experiences helping out in his father's store and pursuing a finance degree as a side interest. His transition into franchising was driven by a desire to do something distinct yet familiar, expanding his family’s franchise portfolio. Choosing Teriyaki Madness was an easy decision for Patel — he was drawn to the brand's straightforward operations, manageable hours and the simple menu. 

Looking to the future, Patel is keen on amplifying his Teriyaki Madness presence in the Cincinnati area. “If you stick with family, you can’t lose,” he said. “That's how the Patels do it.”

1851 Franchise spoke with Patel to learn more about his family background, his decision to franchise with TMAD and his plans for the future. 

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Kush PatelMy dad has been in the convenience store and gas station business for about 20 years. We started to feel like the business was about to die sooner or later with electric cars, new franchise gas stations coming in, etc. So, we talked and decided, “Let's move into the food business. That will never go out of style. It will always be popular.” We have family members who own Teriyaki Madness locations in Nashville and Columbus, so we did our research online and we decided, “Let's do it.” I was only 21 at the time. I purchased Tropical Smoothie and EggHolic Indian Street Food after one year of Teriyaki Madness

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee?

Patel: When I was young, I always went to the store to help my dad. I went to college as a finance manager, but that was just my side hustle. I wanted to do something different and I knew I could follow in my family’s footsteps. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Patel: We tried the food and everything was amazing. I loved that TMAD had simple operations, low hours and easy-to-handle labor. It's a simple menu and you can modify it. They are also finding ways to make the business easier for us everyday. 

The support team, from real estate to training to the end game, is absolutely perfect — they reply to any questions very fast. Any difficulties you have, they will get you through it. I also love their marketing and their branding — we have customers who drive from 30 miles away just to eat at Teriyaki Madness. 

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Patel: My main goal right now is to expand Teriyaki Madness in the Cincinnati local area. I really enjoy it, and once you get going, it is even easier to grow. That's the great thing about franchising. 

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

PatelIt's never too early to start. If you start young, you can achieve your goals. I am a prime example of that. 

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

PatelWhen I started with this, the biggest question I had was, “Is the TMAD team actually helpful? Will they be there to help me through every process and make it easier?” I am happy to say the answer was yes — they took care of each and every aspect. Most people ask, “Will it be easier for me or will it be harder with a franchise?” The support and proven model definitely makes it easier. 

Another piece of advice: If you stick with family, you can’t lose. That's how the Patels do it. 


Teriyaki Madness is making big moves. The secret sauce lies in TMAD’s uncompromising support systems that allow new business owners to achieve success through their proprietary training and support programs with teams dedicated to each franchisee’s unique needs. More than 150 shops across three countries deliver big, heaping bowls of fresh, healthy, natural ingredients to their communities, creating a cult-like following with customers, employment opportunities for neighborhoods, and profitable margins for the franchisees. Backed by leading-edge technology including delivery and loyalty innovations and an all-star executive team, Teriyaki Madness’ focus is on providing profitable opportunities for TMAD franchisees by providing delicious, healthy food to communities. Visit for single and multi-unit opportunities.