A little fun fact. Did you know that rather than feeding randomly, lemon sharks display a high degree of preference for certain species and size of prey. They also tend to prefer a prey when it is more abundant and available. They will only dine on the best fish they can find. Ones that are the healthiest and quite simply, only the best.
And that is exactly what inspired the founders of LemonShark Poké in creating their brand. They create poke with only the finest line-caught fish available. And with perfect cuts, LemonShark Poké creates dishes that are as unique and special as the lemon shark itself.
LemonShark Poké is the healthy, friendly poké concept that has pioneered the “fine casual” restaurant movement. Focused on refined, high-quality and sustainable products and an inviting, upscale and modern atmosphere, LemonShark Poké offers a hybrid table service and counterpoint dining experience that offers the comfort of a sit-down restaurant and the convenience of fast casual dining.
I, along with several other FBA Brokers, had the opportunity to spend the day with LemonShark Poké founder and CEO, Tobi Miller. Tobi’s enthusiasm and passion for this brand is unparalleled. And also, contagious.
We started the day by meeting the LemonShark Poké team in their Santa Monica headquarters’ offices. Collectively, this team comprises hundreds of years of franchise experience and development. Tobi walked us through the vision behind the concept and how this unique brand has grown in to an impressive fast-casual restaurant dining experience.
So let’s focus a bit on the “experience” part. This isn’t just a restaurant, it truly is an experience. And timing is everything. At least on the day of our visit it was as it was the first official soft opening day of the LemonShark Poké Culver City location. And it was delicious!
Our FBA team was given a personal tour of the location by Tobi Miller during which time he walked us through the menu in detail and how each item is shipped, received and prepared by the staff. Bottom line takeaway… this is a turn-key, low prep, slick operation. And one that only serves up the highest level of ingredients fresh to its guests every day. It was truly impressive to get an appreciation for how little actual prep work is needed to open the doors every day – 1.5 hours, in fact.
The LemonShark Poké Experience.
At LemonShark Poké, guests “Feed Finely”. And that’s exactly what we did.
From the moment we walked in to the Culver City location the aromas and atmosphere were so inviting. As much as we enjoyed the personal tour upfront, we couldn’t wait to actually taste the food. And that’s where the real experience begins.
The menu is unlimited. Not in its offerings per se but in the possibilities it provides. LemonShark Poké offers six different signature bowls that are pre-designed for its guests. Additionally, they have appetizer options such as tempura shrimp, spicy tuna crispy rice, egg rolls and a guest favorite – spam musubi. I’ll be honest. Never having had spam before, I was a bit skeptical about this one. But talk about delish & unique. Wow!
But for the team, the real fun was in creating our “Build Your Own” bowls. Here’s a quick rundown in to the options provided in each step of the “Build Your Own” bowl process.
Step 1. Bases – Options range from sushi rice to brown rice to local greens to crispy wontons to soba noodles and to our oh so favorite, forbidden rice.
Step 2. Poke – So many options here. Like 13+ to be exact. To name just a few, you can choose from ahi tuna, spicy salmon, miso glazed salmon, tofu, octopus, squid salad, lemongrass chicken and so on. Across our group, I think we may have covered all of these options.
Step 3. Toppings. Again, so many options such as ginger, serrano chili, corn, cucumber salad, sweet egg, mango, pineapple, tomato, etc. Hint: try the cucumber salad. So yummy!
Step 4. Unami Toppings. Choices here include avocado, surimi salad, masago and seaweed salad.
Step 5. Sauces. Big decision here. Do you go with the LemonsharkTM specialty or eel sauce, or perhaps gluten free soy sauce? There are over 10 sauces to choose from.
Step 6. Crunch. To top your personally created bowl off, you can opt for a little crispy garlic, crispy onion or macadamia nut crunch to give it that extra little punch.
And it doesn’t end there. Each LemonShark Poké location offers a craft sake menu and self-serve beer wall that features a selection of craft beers chosen to highlight the local flavors. The icing on the cake, so to speak.
We couldn’t have been more pleased with our LemonShark Poké experience. It was delightful. A big shout out to the Lemonshark team and Culver City owners for hosting us and giving an insider’s look in to the daily operations and offerings.
So what does the ideal LemonShark Poké franchise owner look like?
With over 90 franchises awarded to date, LemonShark Poké is looking owners that have strong operations, financial, employee management and marketing experience. Semi-absentee ownership is just fine. Even close to passive ownership. Single, Multi-Unit and Area Development opportunities available.
Minimum financial requirements include $70k liquid cash and a $400k minimum net worth. Average investment range: $380k – $420k
If you’re interested in learning more about this concept and what it takes to become a LemonShark Poke franchise owner, contact me today at [email protected] or shoot me a text at 319.440.0857.
As an independent franchise consultant, I want to experience the brands that I am most passionate about & give an independent endorsement of those that I think are worth the investment. I know first-hand that investing in a business is a big step and one that should not be taken lightly. Any brand-specific blog is 100% an independent experience & review; one that is not endorsed, nor initiated by the franchise brand.
Author: Stacie Shannon, Founder & CEO, Fusion Franchising