As a college senior, Helena Abidin thought she had life all figured out. Accepted into medical school, she had all intentions of following in her family’s footsteps to become a doctor. That was, until she discovered the franchise business model while traveling in Las Vegas.
Abidin stumbled upon Teriyaki Madness near the city’s main strip and began speaking to some of the staff. Intrigued by the idea of a fast-casual, Asian-inspired restaurant concept specializing in teriyaki dishes and the personalities of the team, she went home that evening and Googled the brand name. She started looking into the food franchising business.
After a two-year search and examining multiple franchise opportunities, Helena did a complete 180, deciding to open her own Teriyaki Madness restaurant rather than go to medical school. In doing so, she became the youngest franchise owner in Teriyaki Madness history and will bring the brand’s first location to Columbus, Ohio.
“I’m extremely passionate about this business and everything Teriyaki Madness stands for,” she said. “It’s incredibly exciting to bring Teriyaki Madness to Ohio’s state capital and know I’m providing delicious, healthier and satisfying fast-casual food options to the community. Opening a business, in any industry, is challenging. The Teriyaki Madness team made it easy by providing all of the information I needed when I was making a decision,” she noted.
Helena is among three-quarters of the 80 million millennials in the United States having a desire to be an entrepreneur. Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith said he was impressed by Helena’s maturity and the initiative she took to explore and understand the franchise model.
“We realize the future of our brand relies not only on catering to millennial customers’ food tastes, but also their appetite for business ownership,” Haith said. “Helena was attracted to our business opportunity in particular because she feels good about what she’s serving to the community. That’s extremely important to millennials.”
Helena joins the franchise business model Teriyaki Madness after earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton. She said she has always had a passion for entrepreneurship, crediting her parents for encouraging her and providing valuable business advice.