Investors Are Admiring Muscle Maker's Physique

The company is impressing Wall Street again with strong third-quarter results and expansion efforts

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Dec 22, 2021
Summary
  • "Healthier-for-you" products enjoy best quarter since Covid began.
  • The company's unfortunate IPO timing has been overshadowing its growth potential.
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The aptly-named Muscle Maker, Inc. (

GRIL, Financial), the parent company of the Muscle Maker Grill, Pokemoto and Superfit Foods concepts, is flexing its muscles as 2021 comes to a close, signing a wave of franchise agreements after having posted another triple-digit revenue increase in the third quarter.

The health-focused restaurant company saw 190% revenue gains as the integration of recent acquisitions begins to be reported, the company said in its most recent earnings report.

On Dec. 20, the company’s Pokemoto Division - a 19-location and growing Hawaiian poke bowl concept - signed four new franchise agreements, expanding its reach in Connecticut, the brand’s core market with the heaviest concentration of Pokemoto eateries. The newly signed agreements bring its total count in Connecticut to 14 locations, the company said.

Michael Roper, CEO of the League City, Texas-based company, said in a statement that the quarter’s net loss “narrowed to ($433K) which is the best-performing quarter since our IPO. As the impact of Covid falls further into the rear-view mirror and the restaurant industry continues to recover, we are starting to see a positive impact to our portfolio of ‘healthier for you’ brands – Muscle Maker Grill, Superfit Foods and Pokemoto. Not only have we experienced a significant top line revenue increase, we are also seeing our operating metrics improve year over year as the new entities are integrated into the overall Muscle Maker Inc., portfolio of companies.”

The company’s IPO in February 2020 came just at the outset of the pandemic, which was rather unfortunate timing. However, over the last seven months, Muscle Maker has made multiple growth-oriented announcements, including the acquisition of both Superfit Foods and Pokemoto, opening four new locations on the Northern Virginia Community College campuses and launching its Pokemoto franchising strategy.

Muscle Maker Grill features a menu built on proprietary recipes and, created with the guests' health in mind, is lean and protein-based. It features all-natural chicken, grass fed steak, lean turkey, whole wheat pasta, wraps, bowls and more. It also offers a wide selection of fruit smoothies in a variety of assorted flavors, as well as protein shakes and supplements.

Pokemoto, a Hawaiian Poke bowl concept known for its modern culinary twist on a traditional Hawaiian classic, has 18 open locations in five states – Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia and Georgia.

Superfit Foods, LLC, is a fresh-prepared meal prep service that markets “healthier for you” meals in a centrally located kitchen in Jacksonville, FL, with delivery to local gyms and wellness centers or right to customers' doors and nation-wide shipping.

“Our growth plan focuses on strategic acquisitions and franchising,” Roper added in the news release. “Our team has extensive franchise experience in sales, real estate and operations and we will leverage this experience to focus in on our growth strategy. Pokemoto, a healthier for you Hawaiian poke bowl brand is trending in the food segment. The concept boasts low build out and labor costs, ease of operations, small footprints and is highly favorable with both the Millennial and Gen Z demographics. All of the aforementioned plus the vast gamut of experience of our management team makes us believe we have a winning combination that should drive franchise growth.”

The recent acquisitions and openings bring the current total open store count of all entities to 42 corporately owned and franchised locations, according to executives. The company has signed leases, development and franchise agreements that represent an additional 47 locations, which, if fully executed upon, will more than double the size of the current store count.

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