By way of introduction, my name is Damien Blakeney, General Manager at AFC Sushi Australia. I’ve had the pleasure of leading this start-up sushi franchise since we opened our first 3 locations in December 2011.
Despite the inherent challenges of any start-up business, notwithstanding the challenges the franchise sector continually endures, my journey at AFC has been truly refreshing and rewarding.
Franchising is the cornerstone of small business and is all about people working toward a common goal. Results are achieved from understanding those goals. The underlying goal is usually life enrichment.
The team and I share a simple philosophy towards our business, which is ‘always strive to do better’. In other words, never settle on your efforts today but focus on how you can do better tomorrow! We believe this ethos is tantamount to improving everyday lives.
My team and I have not been alone since inception. We’ve always had the support of our US parent entity, especially during the first 3 years when we opened 149 locations.
While the concept of making and serving sushi inside a supermarket was pioneered by our Founder, Mr Ryuji Ishii in the US over 30 years ago, AFC’s rise in Australia could not have been achieved without its strong alliance and partnership with Woolworths Supermarkets.
The unheralded notion of serving hand-crafted, fresh sushi, in-store to thousands and thousands of customers every day is a testament to the success of ‘Supermarket Sushi’ in Australia.
We sincerely hope you find the information available on our website useful and feel inspired to consider a franchise opportunity or perhaps a career at AFC. I encourage you to visit one of our Sushi Izu outlets in a Woolworths near you for a memorable sushi experience!
– Damien Blakeney, General Manager, AFC Sushi Australia
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 realised 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 realise this goal in better, more efficient ways.
- Ryuji Ishii, Founder, AFC Sushi Global