Why Restaurant Franchises are Thriving During the Pandemic

Thinking about opening a restaurant franchise? There’s never been a better time — the best restaurant franchises have been thriving during the pandemic. Here’s what’s been driving their success.


Restaurants were hit hard when COVID-19 first hit, but the good news is that people will always need to eat. Now, with the rollout of various vaccines and relaxing regulations, in-person dining is a real option again and people are looking forward to heading back to their favorite restaurants.

While the past couple years were challenging for the fast casual restaurant industry, some outlets, and restaurant franchises in particular, were set up to weather the storm better than others. Data from Yelp suggests that there were only 10% fewer fast casual restaurant openings during the third quarter of 2020 than during the same period of the previous year. Some delivery and take-away franchises even reported positive year-over-year sales during the pandemic, according to QSR magazine.

The International Franchise Association estimated that more than 26,000 restaurant franchise locations were to be added in 2021, offsetting any decline brought on by the pandemic. These numbers are expected to continue rising in 2022, providing employment options for restaurant workers, winning food franchise opportunities for motivated entrepreneurs, and delicious dining choices for hungry patrons.


The COVID-19 crisis brought about a mountain of unforeseen challenges to the restaurant industry, across all sectors. While closures and restrictions at the start of the pandemic were devastating in many ways, it also presented us with an opportunity to reflect on how we could adapt and improve our practices as we moved forward in an unpredictable time.

If you’re interested in opening a franchise restaurant, you should identify a concept that not only aligns with your values and goals but has been able to handle the challenges of the past couple years and is positioned to emerge stronger and better than ever before.

Of all the food categories that managed to gain steam during the pandemic, takeout and delivery franchises were at the top of the list — especially those whose take-out and delivery systems were already in place. As the world reopens, such forms of dining convenience are likely to remain a vital option, but more and more customers will seek out restaurants that provide a fun, delicious reprieve from two years spent with limited dining out options.

Teriyaki Madness has continued prioritizing our guests’ experience throughout the pandemic thanks to increased digital marketing efforts, enhanced safety and convenience protocols, and maintaining our authentic and delicious flavors with every meal served. We were on the cutting edge of tech-enhanced takeout and third-party delivery before the pandemic started, which is part of the reason we were able to grow our franchise locations by about 30% during 2020.

When dining rooms began shutting down across the country, restauranteurs had to shift quickly to conducting almost all their business as takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup. Luckily for Teriyaki Madness, our primarily take-away focused restaurant model has been working well for us since we started franchising over 17 years ago. Last year, we served 80% of our food outside the “four walls” through takeout, curbside, catering and integrated third party delivery.

The need for heightened and strict rules around in-person dining may change or go away, but TMAD’s formula for success will keep us churning out bowls of awesomeness no matter what.


Here at TMAD, we are proud to say that we’ve been thriving over the past couple years and are growing exponentially across the country, bringing our Seattle-style teriyaki bowls to people everywhere. While the restaurant landscape is adjusting, our level of commitment to ensure our franchisees are set up for success has never faltered.

We don’t take for granted the fact that we were able to maintain our business during this unprecedented time. We feel very fortunate to work within a company of passionate, driven, community-focused individuals who are at the top of their game when it comes to providing the best possible experience to our customers. The ability to adapt and grow is one of the things that makes Teriyaki Madness so great.

While the restaurant world may look a little different right now, we are confident that the things we learned through this pandemic will continue to inform the way we approach our business — with ingenuity, dedication, and a passion to do the right thing.

To learn more about franchising opportunities with Teriyaki Madness, download our Franchise Report.

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The people have spoken, and they want Teriyaki. Asian and Fast Casual are the two fastest growing segments in the restaurant industry. Join the Japanese franchise revolution and give people what they want: HUGE BOWLS OF AWESOMENESS!


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