Poke, sushi bowls
Want to open a Pokeworks?
2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#378 Ranked #272 last year
See the Full List
Initial investment
$259K - $659K
Units as of 2021
59 195.0% over 3 years

Company Overview

About Pokeworks

Larry Sidoti, CDO
Sponsored Content

More from Pokeworks

Our Story

Founded in late December of 2015 in a tiny grab-n-go and delivery location in Midtown Manhattan, Pokéworks® has quickly established itself as the nation’s largest and fastest growing poke franchise, the pioneers of the poke burrito and a leader in innovation within the restaurant franchise industry with a focus on fresh, quality, delicious food.

From the beginning, Pokéworks attracted huge consumer and industry attention when hundreds stood in line willing to wait 45 minutes or more to build their own poke burrito or bowl. While countless New Yorkers were enjoying poke per day, one outlet created a short video “The ‘Sushi Burrito’ has hit NYC and it's amazing.” That video went viral and has received more than 52 million views.

After intelligent growth comprised almost entirely of multi-unit institutional franchisees, Pokéworks joined forces with Toridoll Holdings Corporation in 2018. The agreement with the $1.6 billion publicly traded 1,740+ location restaurant giant (TYO:3397) allowed the brand to leverage Toridoll’s considerable expertise in global brand development while maintaining highly effective founder-led focus and control.

Today, Pokéworks continues to gain recognition from reputable restaurant media. The brand recently earned a top-five ranking in Restaurant Business’s 2021 Future 50 list, and is currently the only poke franchise to make the 2021 Entrepreneur® Franchise 500® list. Additionally, Pokéworks appears on the QSR Future 50 ranking and made the Fast Casual Movers and Shakers list for the third consecutive year.

“The energy at Pokéworks is contagious, and enthusiasm about our growth opportunities is certainly spreading,” said Michael Chen, Pokéworks’ president and one of its co-founders. “We came into the poke space as a disrupter and haven’t lost sight of innovation. From supporting franchisees’ development with flexible build options and simple kitchen operations to rolling out new unique menu items for guests, we’re continuing to raise the bar for ourselves and competitors. We’re thrilled our momentum has helped us attract such strong leadership partners and is sparking conversations with well-experienced operators. We look forward to welcoming more growth-minded developers to Pokéworks in the months ahead.”

Pokéworks store front

Our Menu & Operations

Efficient operations and a flexible footprint assist franchisees in providing streamlined, exceptional service every time. Pokéworks has created an inexpensive and uncluttered cohesive restaurant design that averages 1,250 square feet but can range in size from 500 to 2,000 square feet.

The Hawaiian fusion menu caters to anyone with various dietary restrictions, including those maintaining gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan and cooked or raw protein diets. Consensus is the Pokéworks consumer appeal is fueled by the exceptional quality, consistency and affordability of our healthy and diverse chef-driven menu. Restaurateurs on the other hand, marvel at the ease of execution, menu flexibility as well as the simplicity of Pokéworks kitchens.

Our Support

The Pokéworks franchise opportunity also comes with unmatched corporate support from experienced restaurant franchise experts. The leadership team is accessible and driven by shared core values.

The brand’s franchising momentum comes in tandem with both highly-involved founders and high-level expert executives leading Pokéworks’ growth strategy. Pokéworks continues to welcome a number of seasoned franchise leaders to help lead the strategy for the rapid national growth ahead.

Pokéworks food

Other support elements include:

  • Cost-free project funding review by industry experts
  • National site selection and lease negotiation
  • Award-winning environmentally friendly design
  • National construction management support
  • Comprehensive 3-week initial training
  • Operative POS, scheduling, and inventory control systems
  • National purchasing and procurement program
  • Grand Opening marketing and event planning

Business development support:

  • Online 3rd Party Delivery ordering and management technology
  • Pokéworks' own mobile loyalty app with ordering technology
  • Traditional and digital internet advertising initiatives
  • Strong social media programming and guidance
  • Local and brand centric public relations assistance
  • High-profile contributing chef menu development
  • Innovative and effective marketing initiatives
  • Community fundraisers and campaigning efforts
  • Exceptional fresh, sustainable seafood supplier

Our Ideal Candidate

With more than 60 locations on the map today, the famed “poke burrito” originator continues to garner interest from multi-unit, multi-brand franchise operators who see increased real estate and sales opportunities in both proven and untapped markets.

“Having owned large full-service restaurants, we diversified with Pokéworks to profit from a scalable fast-casual concept,” said multi-unit franchisee Sri Divel, who alongside her husband also owns a location in Laguna Niguel, Calif. and is signed on to open at least two others. “We’ve been blown away by the Pokéworks team’s vision and strategic leadership as we add more locations to our portfolio. Plus, we’ve benefitted from the reasonable build-out costs and the brand’s easy-to-execute menu. We can’t wait to open our doors in Ladera Ranch later this summer—but it’s just the beginning of our growth journey with Pokéworks.”

Ideal North American candidates have 5+ years of food and beverage management experience and a minimum of $250,000 in available capital for each restaurant they wish to develop. Multi-unit location development is preferred (not required) for primary and secondary markets. Single unit development is a consideration in smaller thriving markets in North America. Pokéworks also welcomes multi-unit international master franchise development with well-funded, experienced restaurant groups that have a familiarity with their region.

If you would like to join other highly accomplished multi-unit franchise owners in one of the most notable healthy, fast-casual restaurant franchises in modern memory, we welcome your inquiry. We will be happy to address your initial questions and explore available opportunities in your market.

Franchising Overview

Franchising Since
2016 (6 years)
# of employees at HQ
Where seeking

This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.

This company is seeking new franchisees worldwide.

# of Units
59 (as of 2021)

Franchisor Information

Corporate Address
220 Technology Dr., #120
Irvine, CA 92618

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Pokeworks franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee
Initial Investment
$259,000 - $658,500
Net Worth Requirement
Cash Requirement
Veteran Incentives
25% off franchise fee
Royalty Fee
Ad Royalty Fee
Term of Agreement
10 years
Is franchise term renewable?

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training
170 hours
Classroom Training
24 hours
Additional Training
At training center
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Can this franchise be run part time?
# of employees required to run
Are exclusive territories available?

Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Pokeworks landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

Curious to know where Pokeworks ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise by Entrepreneur Media. Our franchise listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise. That should include reviewing the franchisor's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees.
Updated: February 8th, 2021