Ramen restaurant eyes global growth

Ramen restaurant eyes global growth

Growing from humble Japanese beginnings, RAKKAN Ramen entered the U.S. in 2017 and is now expanding its delicious, healthy dishes worldwide

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Japenese cuisine isn’t a new concept to the West. It’s estimated that there’s upward of 10,000 Japanese restaurants in the U.S. alone, with many, many thousand more popping up overseas. The wheat-based noodle dish has taken the world by storm, and those able to capitalize on this brothy behemoth of a trend have reaped the countless rewards.

“THE BEST RAMEN IN ALL OF LOS ANGELES”
In light of this, you’d be remiss to ignore the sweeping popularity of RAKKAN Ramen: a reliable source of rich, flavorful ramen and undeniable umami. The brand saw initial success with its 2011 founding in Tokyo, by licensed professional chef and CEO, Ryohei Ito. It soon spread to four locations throughout the city, before heading to the States - specifically, downtown LA – in 2017. Since then, RAKKAN has opened three locations in the U.S. and has now offered its simple yet effective business strategy to master franchisees around the world. The plan is to open 100 stores by 2025, and the RAKKAN team wants to speak to the franchising professionals who can help them do it.

HEALTHIER THAN THE COMPETITION
Unlike many other providers, RAKKAN Ramen doesn’t use fatty, high-calorie soups in its ramen. Instead, the restaurants use a 100 per cent plant-based broth, which is not only healthier, but also allows the menu to appeal to vegetarian and vegan guests. “We have many vegan options, though we are not a vegan specialty restaurant,” says Manabu Kamatani, the company’s COO. “Franchisees can approach both vegan and non-vegan markets, which means many potential customers.”

Efficiency is also key, and food and labor costs can be kept low with RAKKAN Ramen’s unique approach to an iconic meal. By utilizing a plant-based broth made with Dashi (a Japanese stock packed with umami), RAKKAN’s broth can be made in just one hour; compared to the 10-plus hours it takes to make traditional bone-based broths. This also allows franchisees to save money on equipment and rent, as the process requires a 10ft hood duct, as opposed to the standard 20ft model.

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
With its international franchises, RAKKAN Ramen is looking for master franchisees who hold the company’s two key values to heart: sustainability and authenticity. CEO Ryohei Ito’s background in the development of sustainable agriculture has guided the trajectory of RAKKAN, and executive chef Ryosuke Sakaguchi ensures that customers receive only the finest ramen dishes possible.

“We want franchisees who share our philosophy, and want to expand RAKKAN together”

RAKKAN Ramen’s authenticity comes not only with the processes used to create its uniquely appealing dishes, but also the ingredients contained within; its AMBER Ramen, for example, uses authentic soy sauce imported from a manufacturer that’s been in the business since 1688, and traditional classics such as assorted gyoza and shumai populate its exciting menu.

Manabu Kamatani has a clear vision of RAKKAN’s future: “Our ideal master franchisees have a thorough knowledge of their country’s market and the ability to develop at least three RAKKAN Ramen restaurants. We want franchisees who share our philosophy, and want to expand RAKKAN together.”

AT A GLANCE

Name of franchise: RAKKAN Ramen
Established: 2011
Number of franchised outlets: Two (in development)
Location of units: U.S, Japan
Investment range: $283,000 - $899,000 (U.S.)
Contact: franchise@rakkanusa.com

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