How Do You Roll (HDYR) was a fast-casual approach sushi restaurant business founded by Yuen and Peter Yung. They pitched their franchise on Shark Tank and inked a deal with Kevin O’Leary. As of 2023, How Do You Roll is worth $0. HDYR was acquired in 2015 but are no longer in business as they went bankrupt.
About the Founders
Yuen and Peter Yung are brothers who grew up in Chinatown, Manhattan. Peter started working in his parents restaurant from the age of eight. Here he mastered the art of cooking Japanese cuisine.
Yuen studied finance and earned a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin. The Manhattan local was hired as a financial planner at Kenty, Yung, Ozias & Associates and worked there for over seven years. Then, he returned to his alma mater and served as a CFP Instructor for four years.
Founding the Company
The brothers noticed that there were only two ways to eat sushi in their area. One was through high-end restaurants, and the other was through grocery stores.
They wanted to change things, so they planned to build a restaurant that served sushi based on the ingredients requested by customers in real time. Furthermore, they provided a fast-casual service.
The restaurant launched in 2008 and was initially called Maki. A year later, it was rebranded to How Do You Roll. After building a headquarters in Austin, Texas, they started franchising in 2010 and signed up 40 franchisees in two and a half years.
Shark Tank Appearance
HDYR was expanding rapidly in 2013 but Yuen and Peter Yung needed capital to grow through franchising and needed help with managing costs. The Yung brothers appeared on season four of Shark Tank, seeking $1 million for a 12% stake.
After a strong start to the pitch, Barbara Corcoran was invited up to order custom-made sushi. They also gave special sushi to the other Sharks, and the group loved the food.
The guys revealed 15 of the 40 franchises were open and they were profitable. From royalties alone, Yuen was forecasting $250,000 in revenue per year and they received an offer of $6.6 million for 75% of the company.
Kevin O’Leary was the last Shark left after Barbara dropped out because the presentation was too polished. Kevin offered $1 million for 22% but wanted a monthly check from the royalties. The presenters countered and a deal was agreed at 20%. This was the biggest Shark Tank investment at the time.
After Shark Tank
The founders spent months trying to close the deal with Kevin O’Leary but they couldn’t reach an agreement. The royalty aspect of the deal was where they ran into issues and taking too much cashflow out the company wouldn’t be a good idea.
Despite the setback, they continued growing the business and opened up over 100 locations in the US, Canada and Middle. In June 2015, HDYR was acquired by a private restaurant group. Despite selling, the brothers still operated Maki Maki, L.L.C and provided equipment, training and supplies to the franchisees.
The new management team failed and HDYR closed down a few years later. Afterwards, Yuen Yung served as the CEO of two firms including Halbar Partners and Apex Landmark. His brother has kept a low profile online but is currently working as the Director of Operations at Bella Restaurants Group.