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Young Ones to Watch: Min Park of Rooster & Rice

Park shares his deep-rooted insights in both finance and franchising, as well as how up-and-coming prospects can establish themselves in the field.

By Justin Wick1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 9:09AM 10/08/21

Min Park is a board member and investor in Rooster & Rice, a fast-casual chicken and rice concept based out of San Francisco. Park is in his third year of involvement with the brand and is also a full-time executive director with J.P. Morgan, a position he has held for more than three years. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and entered the franchising industry with a rich background in both finance and relationship management.

Park addressed the restaurant industry at large, how he found a brand to believe in and how to develop momentum in a competitive industry landscape. He spoke on the celebratory nature of restaurants for consumers, what is necessary for new franchisees to develop early franchise success and the economic ways that restaurant franchises have modernized their practice.

1851 Franchise: How did you get into franchising?

Min Park: A business partner and I entered into restaurant franchising after evaluating some strong business opportunities with existing business models. The business opportunities were credible and very scalable, and the products and services that were being offered were amazing. We decided to take on a scalable model with Rooster and Rice, and the industry set up a perfect opportunity for us to explore a successful model. We’re well on our way now.

1851: What do you love about the restaurant franchising industry?

Park: I think restaurants have an amazing ability to connect with people. You celebrate a lot of occasions at restaurants with family and friends, and many restaurants have established themselves as a backbone for people to enjoy themselves and each other. Restaurants can present a great opportunity for people to own their own business and connect with people unlike other industries, which can help people make a difference while generating income. 

1851: What makes someone a good fit for the franchise industry? Are there traits that are shared by the most successful franchise professionals you know?

Park: The most successful franchisees I have encountered have been the ones who have shown an entrepreneurial spirit. The ones who embody that are often the most passionate and the most impactful.

An ideal candidate for a franchise would be someone who has enough capital to keep a business going. That can be essential for them to handle some unforeseen rigors in a restaurant space, as COVID-19 showed, and that financial backing can also allow them the freedom to set a business in motion from the start.

1851: How do you feel about the industry's comeback from the pandemic? Are there challenges or opportunities that the industry still needs to address?

Park: I think a few changes to things like food delivery were really placed on the forefront due to COVID-19. Enhanced delivery service will likely be an incremental development from here on out, and the restaurant space is proving to follow a lot of technological aspects of some different industries, too. Some restaurants may have wanted to slow the adoption rate of these advances, but 10-20 years down the line, these changes are definitely going to be integral. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption rate, and every restaurant business had to learn how to make these changes economical as part of their model.

1851: What advice do you have for other young up-and-comers in the space?

Park: I believe you have to have a passion for it. There are challenges in the restaurant industry — rising labor costs, rising food costs — but at the same time, you have to have the passion to deliver despite these challenges. You also have to adapt to the technologies that are becoming commonplace and maybe even work to get ahead of the curve for industry changes that are on the horizon.