Leading Healthy Rice Bowl Chain Jumps 50 Spots to #190 on Restaurant Business’ List of 500 Highest-Grossing Restaurant Chains and Debuts at #205 on Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 500 Report
City of Industry, CA (RestaurantNews.com) WaBa Grill, one of the nation’s leading healthy rice bowl chains, is proud to announce it has been named to two coveted industry reports for its outstanding 2020 performance. The brand debuted at #205 on the prestigious Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) Top 500 report based on domestic systemwide sales in 2020. Moreover, for the second consecutive year, WaBa Grill has landed on Restaurant Business’ List of Highest-Grossing Restaurant Chains, jumping 50 spots to #190 on the publication’s 2021 report.
Despite major challenges across the restaurant industry landscape, 2020 was a banner year for WaBa Grill. The brand saw gains in sales ($136 million; up 3 percent) and Average Unit Volume ($712,000; up 3 percent). WaBa Grill’s coveted ranking on the respected NRN and Restaurant Business lists follows a company announcement earlier this year marking 2020 as the brand’s best sales year in its 15-year history.
“As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, our excitement is divided equally by positive reflections on how far we’ve come and huge enthusiasm for the growth that’s ahead, especially as the demand for WaBa’s healthy fast casual menu continues to rise,” said Andrew Kim, President & CEO of WaBa Grill. “We are immensely proud that our milestone year includes accolades from NRN and Restaurant Business as one of America’s top-performing restaurant chains, which is a testament to our dedicated franchise partners who continue to drive the brand’s success.”
NRN has tracked the performance of the largest restaurant chains for decades revealing an in-depth look at the health of the industry and the performance of its biggest players. The authoritative report published by Restaurant Business is in partnership with Technomic. Leveraging decades of foodservice expertise, Technomic has published annual chain restaurant reports for nearly a half-century. The Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report is one of the industry’s leading performance trackers.
Last year was particularly impressive for WaBa Grill, as company sales increased despite dining room closures throughout most of 2020, proving the strength of WaBa Grill’s carryout and delivery business. The upward momentum continued into 2021 with Q1 SSS up 21.3% over Q1 2020. Additionally, WaBa Grill set an all-time brand record for weekly per store sale averages during the last week of the quarter.
“The sales growth WaBa Grill has experienced over the previous 18 months, especially during a period of great complexity, uncertainty and decline for the entire restaurant industry, has been extraordinary,” said Mark Finnegan, Chief Marketing & Information Officer at WaBa Grill. “With new menu options on the horizon, a growing number of fully committed franchisees and brand expansion happening throughout California and beyond, WaBa Grill expects its next 15 years in business to rival its first.”
The nearly 200-unit brand is primed for strategic growth, having identified key markets throughout the western U.S. and is seeking franchise partners interested in expanding their portfolios with an established healthy fast casual brand on the rise. For more details about partnering with WaBa Grill, visit www.wabagrill.com/franchise.
About WaBa Grill
WaBa Grill was founded in 2006 on the principle that healthy food made with quality ingredients should be accessible to all. With a goal of serving the best possible food on the go, WaBa’s famous rice bowls, plates and salads are made with fresh vegetables, healthy grains and high-quality proteins including fresh, never frozen chicken, marinated ribeye steak, wild-caught salmon, jumbo shrimp and organic tofu, all prepared to order on an open-fire grill and customized with a variety of flavorful sauces including the fan favorite WaBa Sauce. No microwaves, no frying, no artificial additives… ever. Learn more at www.WaBaGrill.com.