Food being made in a wok

Chinese Food and Asian Franchise Options: 4 Choices to Consider

Asian food, and Chinese food in particular, is one of the most popular dining options in the world. Within the broader category, there are many different options for both hungry patrons and prospective business owners to consider. Chinese food franchises may seem similar to the untrained eye, but there are major differences in costs, requirements, and market demand. Compare Chinese restaurant franchises plus other potential options.


Chinese cuisine is as vast and varied as the country itself, and Chinese food franchises present every opportunity to introduce different flavors and cooking techniques to a broad audience, creating new converts and lifetime loyalists. The Asian cuisine marketplace offers everything from quick, takeaway noodle bowls to hearty and dependable takeout, to nutritious lunches, to elegant sit-down meals, and more. Curious diners and franchise owners have an almost unlimited selection of options to choose from when approaching this type of restaurant.

Chinese restaurants alone have a market size of $15 billion in the US, employing 466,000 people in 25,500 businesses. Every city in America has a range of Asian restaurants catering to different tastes, including smaller, suburban areas.

The best Chinese food franchisors will be welcoming to both their patrons and their franchisees, regardless of previous familiarity with Asian food. Well-established brands may already have attracted a wealth of loyal customers, but some newer or hybrid concepts are also worth looking into. At the end of the day, we all want to have a delicious experience. Here are some of the most well-known Chinese food franchise options.


Far and away one of the most well-known Asian restaurant chains in the U.S., Panda Express offers an array of popular fast casual menu options and an emphasis on speed of service in various settings, with locations to be found everywhere from airports to hospitals and universities. Founded in California in 1983, the chain now has more than 2,000 locations, the majority of which are company-owned.

If you are curious about looking into owning a Panda Express franchise, you will be out of luck. While the company continues to grow, they do not offer any franchising opportunities at this time. However, there are plenty of other Chinese food franchise opportunities available to ambitious and qualified franchisees.


L&L depends on a mash-up of various Asian flavors and conventions that so many diners crave and lean into their Hawaiian roots. Founded in Honolulu in 1976 and franchising since 1991, the quick-serve brand currently operates 213 units, none of which are company-owned.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue has been ranked on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list over the years, attributing its growth and maintained success to a decentralized ownership model and commitment to the Aloha spirit.


Founded in Canada in 1980, Manchu Wok blends American and Canadian Chinese fast food flavors with 20 different chicken dishes, eight beef dishes, five pork dishes, four noodle side dishes, fried rice, egg rolls, spring rolls, and three soups. Many locations are in shopping malls, and the chain also has a presence on a half-dozen U.S. military bases worldwide.

The number of Manchu Wok locations reached a peak of 205 in the mid-1990s but has since decreased to 105, perhaps due in part to a change in ownership structure.

  Franchise Fee Total Initial Investment Net Worth Requirement Cash Requirement Royalty Fee
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue $30,000 $151,700 – $613,000 $500,000 – $1,000,000 $150,000 – $500,000 3-4%
Manchu Wok $30,000 $441,050 – $713,500 $380,000 $150,000 – $200,000 7%
Teriyaki Madness $45,000 $346,400 to $768,760* $550,000 $150,000 6%


What sets TMAD apart from the other options? Where to begin?! Since hitting the scene hot and ready in 2003, Teriyaki Madness has worked to combine the best Asian flavors and cooking methods with a fun, fast, and delicious approach to fast casual dining with a franchise family that continues to grow.

TMAD’s success can be tasted in every bowl we serve up. With over 125 shops now open across the U.S. (plus Mexico and Canada), TMAD owners are experiencing an Average Unit Volume (AUV) of $1.16 million* in gross sales, with more multi-unit franchisees signing up every day. Voted the No. 1 Fastest Growing Big Restaurant Chain by Restaurant Business, other Chinese restaurant franchises simply can’t beat our bowls.

And it’s not just about the numbers. TMAD franchisees benefit from more training, comprehensive support, and marketing campaigns than you could shake a wok at.

To learn more about why Teriyaki Madness is the best business opportunity for you, download the Franchise Report.

*Refer to our Franchise Disclosure Document.

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