Rock N’ Roll Sushi will add 25 stores under franchise agreement in the West

Go West, young brand. It’s the new strategy of Rock N’ Roll Sushi, a new casual sushi brand based in Alabama. Yes, an Alabama-based sushi brand that’s spreading west — a phrase most people would never have thought they’d read.

The brand just signed a 25-unit deal in Colorado as well as deals in Las Vegas and Phoenix for expansion.

“We kind of call it our ‘Go West, young brand,'” said CEO Chris Kramolis. “This concept was built by the original founders…through friends and family and just word of mouth and such awesome organic growth in the Southeast.”

Kramolis is itself a franchisee. The chain’s newest store in Conway, Ark., is its own – its fifth and the 55 in the chaine.

New Colorado deal is in partnership with Kyle Gerstner, CEO and owner of KMG, LLCand franchisee of eight Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers restaurants.

“I am thrilled to add Rock N’ Roll Sushi to my franchise portfolio,” Gerstner said in a statement. “The brand has a raucous appearance and a super energetic environment, coupled with amazing sushi that my family and I love. Plus, it’s a young brand that offers the opportunity to be part of an exciting and growing concept. We look forward to working with their team to bring the iconic Rock N’ Roll Sushi menu items to fans in the Centennial State.

The first unit of this development agreement is expected to open in Colorado Springs in 2023 and will feature a dedicated take-out service area and a window for customers to grab food on the go. But it won’t be without the famous Rock N’ Roll Sushi personality.

In places where they are allowed, Rock N’ Roll Sushi has loudspeakers outside, playing rock music in the parking lot so customers know what to expect when they enter the restaurant. If this is allowed in Colorado Springs, it will also be the case with the take-out window.

The interior is even more rock and roll.

“We have a killer vibe. I mean, it’s pretty badass in there. When you arrive we have the music turned up and we have a fun environment,” Kramolis said.

It’s not just a gimmick either; it’s part of the restaurant’s DNA.

“When I bring in new franchisees, I’m like, ‘This is no joke – rock and roll just isn’t in our name.’ We’re rock and roll; I mean you have to understand that we’re the genuine article. We love the music. We love all of that,” Kramolis said.

Kramolis is a proud product of the 80s, so the Metallica played at Rock N’ Roll Sushi is perfect for him. That’s what drew him to the brand in the first place, along with the fact that a sushi concept in Alabama was exploding.

“It was a bit of a headache for me at first, how do these guys blow up sushi in Alabama? Right? Like that sentence didn’t even make sense I just heard,” said Kramolis.

What helped Rock N’ Roll Sushi grow so quickly in 12 years is that it brought sushi to Central America. Rather than having traditional sushi places or high-end restaurants that seemed intimidating to many people or simply didn’t exist in many places, Rock N’ Roll Sushi found a way to sell sushi that everyone feels comfortable ordering and eating.

“They made sushi accessible to the 90% of Americans that no one was inviting to come and eat sushi,” Kramolis said.

Part of the accessibility comes from the names of the sushi rolls: VIP roll. The tourist bus. Punk rock roll. All names rather than maki salmon, a more traditional piece of sushi.

The chain also serves hibachi, but that’s done behind the scenes, or “backstage,” as Kramolis puts it. There is no show here, just good food and rock n roll.

“I like the fact that [founders Lance and Gerry Hallmark] were… that’s a bit daring, isn’t it? Kramolis said. “Maybe it’s a bit like what Leonard Skinner did with rock and roll.”

Comments are closed.