Go West, a young brand. This is the new strategy for Rock N’ Roll Sushi, an emerging casual dining sushi brand based in Alabama. Yes, an Alabama-based sushi brand is spreading west — a sentence most people didn’t think 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 this ‘Go West, our young brand,'” CEO Chris Kramolis said. “This concept was built by the original founders…through friends, family, word of mouth, and such great organic growth in the Southeast.”
Kramolis is the same as the franchisor. The chain’s newest store is in Conway, Ark. , is his fifth store and chain 55The tenth.
New Colorado Deal in Partnership with Kyle Gerstner, CEO and Owner of KMG, LLCand a franchisee of eight Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers restaurants.
“I am delighted to add Rock N’ Roll Sushi to my franchise portfolio,” Gerstner said in a statement. “The brand has a bustling look and feel and a very lively environment, along with great sushi that my family and I love. In addition, it is a young brand that offers an opportunity to be part of an exciting and rapidly growing concept. We look forward to working with their team to deliver Rock N’ Roll menu items Distinctive sushi for fans across Centennial State.”
The first unit in this development deal is expected to open in Colorado Springs in 2023 and will include a dedicated service area and window for guests to eat on the go. But it wouldn’t be without the famous Rock N’ Roll Sushi character.
Where this is allowed, Rock N’ Roll Sushi has speakers outside, rock blasting in the parking lot so customers know what to expect when they enter the restaurant. If it was allowed in Colorado Springs, that would be the case with the go window as well.
The inside is more rock and roll.
“We have a killer vibe. I mean, it’s so beautiful in there. When you come to us, we have great tones and we have a fun environment,” said Kramolis.
It’s not just a gimmick either; It’s part of the restaurant’s DNA.
“When I bring in new franchisees, I say, ‘This is no joke – rock and roll isn’t just in our name. We are rock ‘n’ roll. I mean you need to understand that we’re the original article. We love music. We love all of that stuff,” said Kramolis.
Kramolis is a proud producer of the ’80s, so Metallica played in Rock N’ Roll Sushi is perfect for him. That’s what drove him to the brand in the first place, along with the fact that the Alabama sushi concept was exploding.
“It was a bit scratching my head to me at first, how are these guys blasting sushi in Alabama? Right? A sentence like that made no sense even I just heard it,” said Kramolis.
The thing that has helped Rock N’ Roll Sushi expand so quickly in 12 years is that it has made sushi more accessible in Central America. Instead of having traditional sushi spots or upscale restaurants that many people were afraid of or didn’t in many places, Rock N’ Roll Sushi found a way to sell sushi that everyone was comfortable ordering and eating.
“They made sushi accessible to 90% of Americans who were not invited to come and eat sushi,” said Kramolis.
Part of the accessibility comes in the names of the sushi rolls: the VIP roll. Tourist bus. Punk rock roll. All names instead of salmon maki, a traditional piece of sushi.
The series also serves hibachi, but it takes place behind the scenes, or “behind the scenes,” Kramolis says. No show here, just good food and rock and roll.
“I really like it [founders Lance and Gerry Hallmark] They were…kind of daring, weren’t they? “Maybe it’s like what Lynyrd Skynyrd did with rock and roll,” said Kramolis.