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How Do You Roll? benefits from ‘Shark Tank’ appearance

Gary Dinges
gdinges@statesman.com

Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 26, 2013

Yuen and Peter Yung are on a roll.

Five months after appearing on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” the brothers are overseeing a rapid expansion of How Do You Roll?, their locally based chain of fast-casual sushi restaurants.

They walked away from the hit TV show with a $1 million investment, which is helping fuel the growth. By year’s end, the Yungs expect to have a total of 15 locations in four states, with plans to add as many as 25 more in each of the next five years.

“A lot of things are happening right now,” Yuen Yung said. “We’re really picking up steam as we work to build a national brand.”

Their appearance also generated interest from a number of potential franchisees outside the U.S., with deals in the works for as many as 30 new restaurants in Canada and 40 in the Middle East.

Yuen estimates at least 80 percent of the recent inquiries the company has received from interested investors are due to the exposure How Do You Roll? got on “Shark Tank.”

“I didn’t realize ‘Shark Tank’ was so big internationally,” Yuen Yung said. “We weren’t necessarily looking to go overseas, but we got some offers we just couldn’t refuse.”

The success they’re seeing is something Yuen Yung said he never could have imagined when the first How Do You Roll? location opened its doors in 2008.

“We’re just two brothers - immigrants - living the American dream, trying to make the world better,” he said.