With over 4,000 locations, Advanced Fresh Concepts Franchise Corp. (AFC) is the U.S.’s largest franchisor of supermarket based sushi bars. Our story began in 1986 when our President, Ryuji Ishii, founded AFC’s parent company, Advanced Fresh Concepts Corp. (AFCC). AFCC pioneered the concept of operating a sushi bar inside supermarkets. Under contract agreement, each supermarket provided the facility for the sushi bar, while AFCC provided the ingredients and chefs. This value-added service was very popular among consumers, and expansion soon followed. In 2002, AFCC’s sushi bar operations evolved into a franchise system; AFC was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary to function as the franchisor of each independently owned and operated sushi bar franchise. In 2005, we broadened our sushi bar franchise business with the addition of Asian hot foods and thus, regarded ourselves as a franchisor of not only sushi bars, but also food service counters within supermarkets.
In 2011, AFCC established Advanced Fresh Concepts International (AFCI) as a wholly-owned subsidiary, to function as the franchisor of independently owned and operated food service counter franchise locations opening in Australian supermarkets. In 2013, AFCC established Advanced Fresh Concepts Food Service Corp. (AFCFSC) to manage its bakery/café operations in Hawaii. In 2016, AFCC established Advanced Fresh Concepts Distribution Corp. (AFCDC), as the primary distributor of ingredients and supplies to AFC’s food service counter franchises. Today, AFC food service counter franchises can be found in U.S. supermarkets, military commissaries, university food courts, corporate office food courts, hospital food courts, amusement parks, and sports stadiums as well as Canadian supermarkets, while AFCI food service counter franchises can be found in Australian supermarkets.
Founder & CEO
Growing up in Japan, I have always enjoyed the convenience of packaged sushi as a snack or meal that I could purchase at every street corner. When I moved to the United States, I really missed this convenience. It was in 1986 that I finally realized my dreams by establishing Advanced Fresh Concepts Corp. and introduced the in-store sushi bar concept to Vons, a supermarket chain in Los Angeles.
In 2002, our sushi bar operations evolved into a franchise system and Advanced Fresh Concepts Franchise Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary was established as the franchisor. In 2005, our franchise emphasis broadened beyond sushi bars with the introduction of Asian hot food bars.
Today, there are over 4,000 independently owned and operated food service counter franchise locations providing convenient, economical meals to consumers throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Since the company’s inception, our primary goal has been to understand, meet and exceed consumer expectations. We look ambitiously to the future as we strive to realize this goal in better, more efficient ways.
‘We look ambitiously to the future as we strive to realize this goal in better, more efficient ways.’
AFC’s Accounting Department works to ensure proper accounting treatment in all aspects of AFC’s business. This includes accounting functions related to AFC’s internal business, providing assistance and responding to franchisee inquiries, and working with facility owners to ensure proper payments. The Accounting Department is continuously striving to improve processes and efficiencies to better account for AFC’s growing business.
AFC’s Franchise Recruiting Department undertakes the task of recruitment of highly qualified prospective franchisees that will operate franchise locations across the U.S and Canada. We continuously search for individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit interested in owning their own business with a minimal initial investment. Franchisee orientation and training are conducted at AFC headquarters for a period of two weeks.
AFC’s IT team seeks to efficiently maintain and improve the information technology infrastructure throughout the entire organization. This enables us to provide our management team, as well as staff members with the latest technology tools, most recent applications, local area network structure, business continuity plans, and cloud based solutions that will enhance the information management process, increase the accuracy, maintain efficiency, and provide reliability of our information technology needs.
Our department continuously develops innovative sushi and Asian hot foods recipes that are the envy of the industry, and feature responsibly sourced ingredients and supplies. We focus on driving sales by creating action plans, special promotions, and instructional videos with strategies that guide our franchisees and ensure that they are operating their business to their fullest potential and maintaining optimal sales performance. Our concept proposals to our store accounts offer the latest trends in the industry, providing a value-added service to the customers at the retail establishments wherein our food service counters operate. In addition, all aspects of our food service counter labeling system needs are managed by our department.
We take pride in maintaining the finest products to franchise locations from coast to coast. We source an extensive line of the highest quality ingredients worldwide and efficiently manage a total Supply chain.
AFC Operation Department provide supports to our clients, franchisees, consumers and expeditiously address and resolve any problems or issues that may arise at food service counter. This is accomplished by our office and regional team assisting the franchise and corporate operations. Our department also attempts to balance cost and execute various strategic business plan to achieve the highest net possible in accordance with AFC’s stringent food safety and corporate standard.
AFC’s Human Resources team is dedicated to partnering with company business units to maximize the potential of our greatest asset – our employees. We embrace change and the opportunity it brings. We are focused on delivering quality customer service and are committed to recruit, develop, reward and retain our global workforce. We are committed to act as a catalyst to enable all company employees to contribute at optimum levels toward the goals and targets of AFC.
AFC’s Legal and Compliance Department ensures that consumers receive a safe, high quality product through continuous monitoring of ingredients from its source through preparation of the final product at the retail location. This is accomplished in compliance with required food establishment permits, business licenses, and federal, state, and local regulations. We train and educate franchisees with a rigorous orientation program. Topics covered include the ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Certification Program, franchise operational techniques, and successful business management concepts. Our department also handles regulatory compliance matters, Corporate and franchise contracts, consumer and client claims, risk mitigation, dispute resolution, trademark and client licensing, ad any other legal issues.
The Sales and Marketing Department is committed to establishing and maintaining successful, synergistic Relationships with food retailers where AFC licenses sushi bars and food service counters. This department functions as a liaison between store ownership, store management, AFC, and our franchisees to maintain a cooperative business relationship. Our top sales executives are continuously seeking out new markets and potential clients where all parties can collectively thrive.