How Do You Roll is founded by two young men from Austin, Texas- Yuen and Peter Yung. From a young age, the two brothers worked at their parents’ restaurant so they grew up with loads of food exposure. While Yuegn studied finance in the University of Texas, Peter followed his dream of becoming a head chef. By the time Yuen was starting his nine to five corporate career, Peter had a realization- there were no lunchtime sushi options that were quick and delicious.
The brothers, entrepreneurial by nature, decided to upgrade the sushi experience to give the customers something new and innovative. The tag-line they decided to offer was “The Customer is the Chef.” This became the idea behind their business as How Do You Roll became a restaurant that had a customizable sushi menu. It was a copy-cat version of the worldwide Subway model but instead of sandwiches, How Do You Roll was all about serving sushi.
Customers would come in and view the wide collection of sushi rolls. Then, they could pick their own rolls, as well as fillings and sauces to create a sushi snack that was filled with things that they personally liked. The main problem with most sushi restaurants was that they took way too long to make their sushi. Usually, professionals only have a limited time period in which they need to eat their lunch and come back to work. Since restaurants take so long, sushi is out of the question. Grocery store sushi is an option but it is subpar in taste at best. How Do You Roll is a self-sushi service where customers can choose their sushi and have it in their hands within seconds.
By 2008, the brothers set up How Do You Roll with one restaurant in Austin. Soon, their business became a success and by 2011, they were able to expand to two other corporate locations and earn more than $1 million a year in the form of profits. As time went on, they set up five more franchises in five other states.
Peter had the food experience as he dealt with the menu and tastings while Yuen had the business experience as he dealt with the logistics. He explained the entire business through a professional presentation, leaving the Sharks surprised. The brothers demonstrated what How Do You Roll was about and called Barbara to the stage. She chose a wrap, fillings, and sauces and within seconds, her customized sushi was served to it. The speed impressed all the Sharks as they waited for their sushi rolls. Within seconds of trying the How Do You Roll sushi, they unanimously agreed on one thing- the quality of the sushi was definitely top-notch.
The Yung brothers mentioned that they wanted to open 25 other franchises in the next twelve months and had already started working towards their goal. When asked about the profits that their corporate locations were currently making, Yuen told the Sharks that the franchises were earning $250,000 per year. In the previous year, profits were recorded at $1 million.
They came to the Sharks asking for an investment of $1 million while offering 12 percent equity in their business. All the Sharks believed that the food business was competitive and had no interest in investing in it. However, Kevin liked the Yung brothers and was ready to offer them $1 million for 22 percent equity in the business. The Yung brothers negotiated the deal and eventually the two parties settled on 20 percent equity.
Our Review of How Do You Roll
How Do You Roll is an innovative sushi business that allows hungry individuals on their corporate lunch hour to pick sushi that they like and enjoy it with plenty of time left to return to the office.
Pros of How Do You Roll
There is no denying that How Do You Roll is an innovative business model. The two brothers have the perfect experience- Peter is the head chef while Yuen handles the business side of things. There has been a serious lack of sushi bars in the United States, especially since sushi takes long to prepare and there is no way that businessmen on their lunch break could have enjoyed it due to the time constraints.
However, How Do You Roll makes this possible. The sushi they serve is fresh, different, and completely customizable, along with the sauces and fillings. It seems like a dream come true for picky sushi lovers on the run.
Cons of How Do You Roll
It is no secret that the food business is a competitive one. There are loads of lavish restaurants that serve sushi, which means that How Do You Roll would have to work extra hour to make themselves known. Moreover, fish is complicated since individuals usually prefer ordering it from a well-known place.
Who is How Do You Roll for?
How Do You Roll is for businessmen who get a limited amount of time to have their lunch and get back to their workplace. It focuses on the corporate sector so that they can enjoy sushi whenever they want as well.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Currently, How Do You Roll is one-of-a-kind. There are no real sushi pick-and-choose restaurants that provide as quick a service like How Do You Roll does.
How Do You Roll is definitely a wonderful business model with the founders having the correct background to set up a successful business. Their innovative model is bound to be successful, especially if they continue to serve top-notch sushi at all their locations and expand so that they are covering different parts of the world.