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In The Thick Of The Restaurant Die-Off, Teriyaki Madness And Others Open New Locations

Against stiff headwinds besetting the restaurant industry since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, a few brands are managing to open new locations. One is Teriyaki Madness, which says it will open 15 more locations this year on top of 12 that it has already opened during the pandemic.


The Denver-based fast-casual restaurant, which specializes in Japanese bowl dishes, attributes its growth to a model that allows for easy pickup and delivery. Currently, it has about 80 locations in the U.S. and two in Mexico. The planned locations are in the U.S. and Canada.

“The 12 shops we opened in the last six months were able to hit the ground running with an operational model that is perfectly suited to meet the demands of the current landscape,” Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith said in a statement.

Repeat business has also been a major factor in the brand's recent growth, according to the company. Teriyaki Madness has been encouraging customers to use its mobile app, thus seeing an increase in loyalty members, who spend an average of 19% more than non-loyalty members.

As a whole, the restaurant industry is having an exceptionally bad year. Though overall sales ticked up month-over-month in August by 4.7%, compared with a year ago, sales are down 15.4%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Employment in the restaurant industry is down about 2.3 million jobs now compared with its peak in February.

As of the end of August, more than 32,000 restaurants reported themselves closed to Yelp, with nearly 19,600 of those shutting for good. Restaurants with the highest failure rates are places specializing in breakfast, hamburgers, sandwiches and desserts. 

A bill written specifically to bail out the restaurant industry that was introduced in Congress in June has made no headway since then, languishing in committee.

Going against the grain, other restaurant chains that continue to open new locations include P.F. Chang, which is opening five of its new P.F. Chang's To Go concepts, as well as six standard ones, over the next six months despite temporarily laying off employees, Restaurant Dive reports.

Also opening new locations recently in various parts of the country are Huddle House in Tennessee, Zaxby's in Georgia, Farmer Boys in California, and Marco's Pizza in Florida, Texas and Virginia.