The newly opened Teriyaki Madness on Colonial Drive looks like any other casual restaurant in the area with one slight difference: It’s owned by a nonprofit organization.
The "Chipotle of Japanese food," according to the Dallas Business Journal
, serves bowls and combination plates that include meat, rice or noodles, and some type of salad for under $10.
The restaurant, which opened Friday, is owned by the Brevard Achievement Center, an organization based in Rockledge, Fla., dedicated to helping people with disabilities achieve personal success by helping with employment and life skills, according to its website.
The group bought
franchise rights last year to open five Teriyaki Madness restaurants in Orange County and Brevard County, says BAC's spokesperson Rosalind Weiss.
The idea to buy franchises came about three years ago, when the agency realized that much of its government funds would be cut. The organization needed a new and innovative way to make money, and looked into the fast casual restaurant business, Weiss says.
“We’re one of the first to do this,” she says. “A lot of nonprofits depend on state and government grants, and some of them are struggling. We’re not, and the reaction from other nonprofits to what we’re doing has been very positive.”
The profits will fund the organization's programs, and the center hopes to provide employment at the restaurants to people with disabilities in the area. The next Teriyaki Madness owned by BAC is coming to Kissimmee in the fall, and later on, the third one will open in Brevard County.
The Teriyaki Madness on Colonial Drive had its soft opening today, but will have a grand opening in late August, says its general manager Zack Zonker. The restaurant opened at 11 a.m. today, and so far they've had a steady flow of customers and reviews posted online.
“You can come do your good deed of the day here just by eating a delicious lunch," he says. "Here you know that 100 percent of the profits will be going back to helping people at the Brevard Achievement Center."