With a Fun Beach Shack Vibe, The Hawaiian Style Poké Franchise Offers a New Twist on the Family Restaurant
Island Fin Poké’s co-founder and CEO initially had humble hopes for his restaurant. “My business partner and I had a plan to open a few locations to improve our work-life balance,” Mark Setterington says. “It began as a small neighborhood spot, and there was never a thought of expanding through franchising.”
But once their Winter Springs, Fla., restaurant debuted in March 2017, “we recognized how successful the concept was and how simple it was to replicate, so we explored franchising,” he says. “In September 2018, we sold our first franchise, which opened in July of 2019.”
Island Fin Poké Locations
Island Fin Poké franchises sailed through the pandemic, largely because of online and app ordering, along with curbside pickup. “We even opened 10 new locations in 2020,” Setterington says. “Our focus on proving the value of our product through incredible food and remarkable service is what we believe fostered success during harsh economic times.”
Our focus is on making every guest feel like they are part of the ohana.
Setterington describes Island Fin Poké as a fast casual restaurant that puts a spin on a five-star beach shack. “We offer incredible food, remarkable service and impeccable execution. Our focus is on making every guest feel like they are part of the ohana,” the Hawaiian word for family.
Diners enjoy “the freshest boat-to-bowl and farm-to-fork ingredients,” Setterington says. “Our goal is to be an experiential lifestyle brand that is as much about the experience as it is the incredible food. We focus on healthy options that meet many dietary restrictions – for instance, we’re gluten-free except for three toppings. Our food is so delicious that you don’t even realize you’re eating healthy food.”
Meals start with a base of rice or spring mix, followed by a choice of eight proteins, five marinating sauces, 25 toppings and five finishing sauce options. Dine-in customers appreciate the friendly team members who serve their tables in the fun, beachy ambiance. “We offer a full-service experience in a fast-food restaurant,” Setterington says.
Island Fin Poké Franchisee Success
For potential franchisees, Island Fin Poké stands out for its ease of operation compared to most restaurants. “There’s no cooking, no restaurant complexities, and you only need two to three team members per shift,” Setterington says.
The Island Fin Poké leadership team is committed to franchisee success. Part of that is the savvy business model: The small kitchens allow for the dining area to be a higher percentage of the restaurant’s footprint, maximizing revenue. And only 900 to 1,500 square feet are required for a restaurant, which is economical from the get-go.
“This is an easy-to-execute, highly scalable business,” Setterington says. “Today we have 60 locations sold, with 26 operating and 10 under construction.” He describes the ideal Island Fin Poké franchisee as someone who will follow the company’s successful playbook. “This person is outgoing, ready to be involved in their community and does not want to work in the business but work on the business.”
The Popularity of Poké
It’s no surprise that Island Fin Poké locations are popping up everywhere. The fun, make-your-own-bowl concept has become a new staple for people who want healthy, delicious meals on the go. And it’s not just in the U.S. Poké has become popular worldwide. According to technavio, the global poké market is expected to grow by $781.91 million from 2021 to 2026.
For more information about the Island Fin Poké franchise, visit https://www.islandfinpoke.com/franchise/.