bannerFranchisee Spotlight

Former McDonald’s Supervisors Set to Open 3 Teriyaki Madness Franchises in Virginia

Husband-and-wife franchisees Jason Doyle and Missy Cheek are channeling their expertise in fast-food and their passion for community into their new restaurant business.

By Chris IrbyCopy Editor
8:08AM 02/23/24

For husband-and-wife franchisees Jason Doyle and Missy Cheek, the best part about running a restaurant is being face-to-face with the public. The worst part, of course, is all of the required administrative work. With one successful Teriyaki Madness franchise under their belt and two more in the works, the couple is working to grow their business so they can hire a staff to handle the paperwork. This will free them so they can spend their time “doing the fun stuff,” namely preparing the food and interacting with their customers.

After working at McDonald’s for more than 30 years, Doyle and Cheek had developed their own ideas about what makes a restaurant successful. Their passion for the food industry, coupled with their experience of supervising and managing fast-food crews, eventually led them to purchase their first Teriyaki Madness franchise in Virginia Beach, VA, in May 2023. Their second location, in Lightfoot, VA, is set to open in March of this year, and they’re hoping to get a third shop open in Hampton, VA, by summer.

1851 Franchise sat down with Doyle and Cheek to talk about their franchising journey with Teriyaki Madness.

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

Doyle: We both made the decision that we wanted to be business owners and the path was not there for us with McDonald’s. So we started looking into franchising. We wanted to stay in food because that’s what we know. When we came across Teriyaki Madness as an up-and-coming brand, we were excited to hopefully get the opportunity to be a franchisee for them.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Doyle: If you’re adamant about wanting to do it, there are a lot of headhunters out there that can help connect you with different brands and that’s what we utilized. So that was nice. We weren’t just out there trying to figure out stuff on our own.

Also, the process of getting everything takes a little longer than I thought it would. It’s not one of those things where you sign a piece of paper, hand them a check, and then open a store the next day. It takes a little while.

So I would recommend patience. Do your homework and make sure the brand is a good fit for you and your community.

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

Cheek: Well, the food really resonated with us. It’s a simple menu with a lot of healthy options.

Doyle: I also like the level of support that you get from Teriyaki Madness. They have it set up to make sure you’re successful. They really helped a lot with finding the location, building it out, and having the equipment and everything all set up and ready to go.

You’re not having to reinvent the wheel; you just have to follow the yellow brick road. That really makes it easier for people like us to become franchisees. It’s nice to have a franchisor that’s making sure each individual operator is successful… who makes things as seamless and stressless as possible for the franchisee.

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

Doyle: We signed an agreement with Teriyaki Madness for three shops. We bought the existing one in Virginia Beach. We have a lease agreement for one we’re opening in Lightfoot, and we’re hoping to have another one opening in Hampton by summer.

Cheek: We would really like to have a path where we can excel and our employees can excel in the community, where we can have a place of business that we’re proud of and employees are happy and proud to be part of.

Doyle: There’s a lot of administrative stuff that has to be done. It’s not just going in and serving food to your customers, which is a shame because that’s the part we enjoy… so I think we need about 10 more shops. We can hire people to handle the administrative work and I can be the guy up there, having fun with the staff, making bowls, and interacting with the customers.

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

Doyle: We’re not lavish by any means. I guess you could say that we came from simple beginnings and we both work very hard. We’re a part of this community. We live in the community that we work in.

Cheek: That’s why we’re excited to have this location opening in Lightfoot, because it’s in our own backyard and we want to be able to serve bowls of food that we feel good about to our neighbors and friends.

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

Doyle: Financially, it’s a lot of risk, but we believe now that we’ve done it with Teriyaki Madness, the rewards are there. We’re having a lot of fun, but we’re also working hard and putting in a lot of hours. It doesn’t really feel like work, if that makes sense.

ABOUT TERIYAKI MADNESS

Teriyaki Madness is making big moves. Named the #1 Fastest-Growing Big Restaurant Chain in the U.S. by Restaurant Business, TMAD’s secret sauce lies in creating value for franchisees, guests and employees alike. More than 140 shops across three countries deliver big, heaping bowls of fresh, natural ingredients to their communities, creating a cult-like following with customers, employment opportunities for neighborhoods, and profitable margins for the franchisees. Backed by world-class technology including delivery and loyalty innovations and an all-star executive team, Teriyaki Madness’ focus is on sustainable growth and exceptional experiences. Visit franchise.teriyakimadness.com for single and multi-unit opportunities, and join the Teriyaki Takeover.

MORE STORIES LIKE THIS

NEXT ARTICLE