JINYA Ramen Bar founder and CEO Tomonori Takahashi announced that the company has welcomed Mike LaRue as its new vice president of franchise sales.
LaRue joins JINYA with more than 14 years of experience in franchising. With an advanced understanding of franchise sales, development and onboarding processes, LaRue has played a role in launching over 15 brands, resulting in more than 1,000 units in development and several million dollars in franchise fees.
“We are very excited to have Mike join our team at JINYA,” Takahashi says. “After many years in franchising, he has developed a keen understanding that a franchisor empathizing with its franchisees is a significant driver to the success of a brand. Mike has always been exceptional at utilizing his resources to find the best real estate for his sites, as well as when it comes to recruiting prospective franchisees, he knows what elements of a brand attract exceptional people. Mike not only focuses heavily on creating a dependable franchisor/franchisee relationship, but he also believes a strong culture and impact within the company are the key ingredients to building a sustainable brand. That’s the kind of person we want at JINYA – someone who is devoted and excited to make our brand stronger in every way.”
At JINYA, LaRue will be responsible for leading and directing strategy on all aspects of franchise development, including new sales, lead generation, franchise recruiting and owner approvals. In addition to several other tasks, LaRue will collaborate with JINYA’s marketing team and outside agencies to implement effective lead generation marketing and a franchise recruitment website, build solid relationships with existing franchisees and support their enterprise expansion plans and work closely with JINYA’s real estate team to provide insights and analytics for the brand’s development pipeline. He will also manage prospects through inquiry, approval, signing, and onboarding leading up to grand openings.
“I am very excited to be joining the JINYA family and taking on this new role,” LaRue says. “For me, I don’t believe you can just work for any brand who wants to recruit franchisees; there are certain characteristics that have to be in place. For example, it’s important for a franchisor to be passionate about bringing in the right franchise partners versus someone who can just cut a check. There has to be a strong focus on company culture and spreading that culture into the system. To attract the best multi-unit operators, the economics also have to make sense. JINYA has done an amazing job adjusting through the pandemic and is positioned extremely well to continue being a category leader for years to come. The future for JINYA is incredible, and I am thrilled to be of service for a brand that has so much potential, both in franchising and as a well-rounded, extraordinary company.”
At JINYA, experience ramen like it’s meant to be—with thick, rich broth in perfect balance with flavorful noodles. Discover a wide array of authentic toppings, from tender pork chashu to a perfectly cooked and seasoned poached egg to fresh garlic. Then, elevate the experience further by pairing it with tapas or a craft beer. JINYA is ramen culture, where the relationship between broth and noodles is serious but delicious business.