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Healthy, Online Orders Drive Record WaBa Sales

WaBa Grill’s well-known rice bowls and salads topped with fresh chicken and wild-caught salmon are just right for easy delivery. Paired with the company’s growing online channel, and the restaurant chain’s struck just the right recipe for growth these days.

The City of Industry-based operator, which counts nearly 200 locations, struck a deal earlier this year to move its headquarters to Anaheim Hills. As the company awaits the completion of construction and repairs on its new office, it’s readying for a 2022 move in as it shows no signs of a slowdown in growth.

The company, which is celebrating 15 years in business, ended the third quarter with total sales of $43.5 million, up 17.9% from the year-ago period. The quarterly sales total bests its second-quarter record and makes for the second quarter in a row of sales above $40 million.

Comparable sales climbed nearly 31% in the quarter from the prior year.

Digital sales helped in a big way, with the company’s rewards app and delivery driving the channel’s gains. The company reported digital sales accounting for now 25% of overall sales.

“The signature menu is the bowl and that delivers very well in terms of maintaining its heat and the quality of the food that actually gets delivered to the customers, and that’s reflected in our online sales from pre-COVID 4% to where it is now, at about 25%,” CEO and President Andrew Kim told the Business Journal. 

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