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Why This Franchisee Believes Teriyaki Madness is a Great Portfolio Addition for Gas/Convenience Store Owners

Discover how Keyur Patel seamlessly integrated Teriyaki Madness into his portfolio, transforming gas station dining with customizable offerings and community-centric service.

By Victoria CampisiStaff Writer
SPONSORED 8:08AM 06/23/24

Keyur Patel is no stranger to the world of business. Since moving to the United States about 10 years ago, the entrepreneur and his family have grown their portfolio to include everything from hotels to gas stations to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. The latest addition? Two Teriyaki Madness locations in the Nashville area. 

Patel saw Teriyaki Madness as a great portfolio addition for gas/convenience store operators for several reasons: It’s a quick service restaurant that does not require starting from scratch; the offerings are customizable, allowing for easy inventory management and employee training; and the restaurant concept is similar to the gas station industry, experiencing both low- and high-volume days.

1851 Franchise spoke to Patel about his franchise journey with Teriyaki Madness and 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?

Patel: I started my life back in India. I was born and brought up there and moved to the United States about 10 years ago. My family's here and all together we have different businesses throughout the portfolio including hotel franchises through Hilton and Marriott. 

We have five high-end liquor stores, where we have 7,000 square feet or more. We also have gas stations — we started our journey with the gas stations. Our community is highly involved in that business. We jumped into that one just because we are familiar with the area and how the business operates. So we started with the gas station businesses and, since 1997, my father has been working on that one. 

Our businesses are located in Nashville, Kentucky, Georgia, eastern Tennessee and Florida. We also have a location in Texas, so we're primarily located in the Southeastern United States. Additionally, we have one Tropical Smoothie restaurant and have further rights to purchase more franchises from Tropical Smoothie.

I'm also a mechanical engineer. After graduating from the University of Houston, I started working in Nashville for Schneider Electric as a team lead. I'm currently an application engineer, but I also help my family with our various business ventures. In addition to our restaurant businesses, we also have a real estate portfolio. We do construction on single-family homes, multifamily residences and commercial buildings.

I started exploring the restaurant business about two to three years ago, in 2021. I looked at different concepts and decided that Teriyaki Madness was a great fit for us. The food concept and offerings seemed exciting to the community, and it was also a new concept for us. So, I decided to jump into it, and now we have three franchise licenses and are opening two restaurants within six months. The first restaurant is up and running in the Nashville West region, and the second one will open next month in Franklin, Tennessee, which is about 30 minutes from Nashville.

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?

Patel: I thought there was a lot of control. I've worked with Tropical Smoothie before, but Teriyaki Madness was new to me. I was impressed by their consistently good reviews on Google and Yelp. The franchise provides rules and regulations, but they're also open to feedback from franchise owners. I like that they have a symbiotic relationship where both the franchise owner and the corporate office benefit.

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

Patel: They’re great people to work with, I would say they're the most fun people I have worked with and they are always willing to listen, always willing to follow the problem rather than blaming or pointing fingers. It feels like a family. They're awesome.

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

Patel: One thing that I wanted to do is, even though I want to make money out of it, I want to serve the community. I want to make sure that people are enjoying the food and people are having a great time. As soon as they enter the restaurant, their experience matters. The first restaurant is kind of like a newborn for me at the moment, just five months into the business. We are growing day by day. We are seeing a lot of customers. We have a great return-customer-to-new-customer ratio And also there's new customers joining us, as well. There's still room to grow. I want everyone to know about Teriyaki Madness. I want everyone to try the food, provide feedback, whether it's good or bad. 

1851: Why is Teriyaki Madness a great portfolio addition for gas/convenience store operators?

Patel: Most of our gas stations have deli kinds of restaurants, so we already know about the food offerings. Teriyaki Madness is a quick-service restaurant, where you don't have to start from scratch. The second thing is, it's easily transferable. The offerings at Teriyaki Madness are customizable, so you don't need to keep a large inventory of ingredients. This makes it easy to train employees, and even with high turnover, you can quickly get new staff up to speed. Employees have seen both ups and downs, from days with low profits to days with high volume. The same is true in the gas station industry, where you will see days with high and low volume. However, it's not just about service; it's also about the food offerings.

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

Patel: I come from a minority community. We immigrated to the United States. Also, one thing I wanted people to know is that everyone who works hard can achieve anything. If you have the right mindset, you can achieve everything that you're looking for.

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

Patel: Do your research. Do your research around your community. See what people might be interested in before jumping into any business. Once you reach out to the franchise, you will be able to determine how helpful their franchise is going to be for you and your business. 

ABOUT TERIYAKI MADNESS  

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 franchise.teriyakimadness.com for single and multi-unit opportunities.

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