Fresh Poke Style Concept Opens Third Store in Milwaukee
Chicago-based Aloha Poke Co., the nation’s premier fast-casual poke restaurant concept, announced today the opening of a new Aloha Poke fast-casual restaurant in the state of Wisconsin. The new Aloha Poke location will be located in the Mequon Public Market. Mequon Public Market is a community-focused multi-vendor market brimming with restaurants and specialty shopping. The Mequon Public Market location is the third for Aloha Poke demonstrating the success of the concept’s brand promise to offer fast, fresh-packed sushi-grade fish and Hawaiian-inspired raw ingredients.
“Aloha Poke Co is excited and extremely proud to open its third Wisconsin location,” said Chris Birkinshaw, CEO, Aloha Poke Co. “We are happy that the people of Wisconsin have welcomed poke as a delicious, nutritious, healthy food option, especially at a time of heightened awareness around consuming fresh vegetables and raw ingredients to help boost immune systems.”
The Aloha Poke expansion in Wisconsin is driven by a successful joint venture between Aloha Poke corporate and Aloha Wisconsin JV LLC. The first location was opened in 2018 in the Historic and trendy Third Ward of downtown Milwaukee and immediately gained popularity among the local creatives and visitors. The second location, opened in Wauwatosa during the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020 and has thrived through its offering of fresh, nutritious food choices with the latest store returning to Milwaukee proper.
“We feel like we are on the right side of the food trend, which is toward fresh, healthy alternatives that taste great,” said Tom Wang, co-owner, Aloha Wisconsin JV LLC. “This past year has been a difficult one for restaurants, but we’ve been able to expand in Wisconsin because of our belief in the product and our amazing partnership with Aloha Poke Co. We look forward to many more opportunities for growth.”
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With the sharp acceleration of convenience trends as a result of the pandemic, the challenge for restaurateurs and brands right now is to try to imagine what customers will want post-COVID. In some respects, it may be that they want to go back to experiential concepts because they haven’t been able to for some time.
“I think the restaurant of the future will be oriented towards less friction between the customer and the ordering experience, less reliance on a differentiated physical brand experience, and more focused on the digital experience with a brand and functionality of the footprint for the consumer,” added Birkinshaw. “Seats in counter-service dining rooms will still have their place, but far less so. The restaurant of the future is being reimagined right now.”
Based in Chicago, Aloha Poke currently operates 15 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, and Washington, D.C. In addition to the brand’s health-forward menu and simplified operations, franchise restaurant investors take an interest in Aloha Poke because of its attractive initial capital requirements, unit economics, and appealing sales-to-investment figures.
Aloha Poke is actively seeking to grow its exciting health-forward, fast-casual concept with qualified entrepreneurs and experienced restaurant franchisees who share the brand’s same passion and energy for life. Ideal Aloha Poke franchisees have restaurant operations or business management experience and share the desire to positively impact the country’s need for quick, healthier food options. Proudly serving sustainably sourced superfoods with super cool vibes, Aloha Poke Co. packs fresh, fast, and tasty bowls filled with quality ingredients blending bold flavors that rethink fast food. Starting as a food stall in downtown Chicago’s French Market / Ogilvie Transport Center in 2016, Aloha Poke has grown to 15 locations throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic.