Zyng Noodlery coming to area

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Zyng Noodlery coming to area

By Elizabeth Geldermann, of SBT

The former operations manager of the Tony Roma’s restaurant in Brookfield will open seven Zyng Noodlery restaurants in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Dane counties within five years.
Steve Smirl, of Ichiban Inc. in Milwaukee, signed a franchise development contract with Zyng International to own and operate the new pan-Asian restaurants along with a silent partner.
The first of Ichiban-owned Zyng Noodleries will open by Jan. 1 near the lake in downtown Milwaukee, in a facility Smirl declined to identify, as the lease remains unsigned.
Smirl left his six-year employment as operations manager at Tony Roma’s in Brookfield within a month after learning of Zyng.
"I definitely think this is the cuisine and restaurant type of the future," said Smirl. "Zyng has an exciting atmosphere, the food is outstanding and healthful – no oil is used. I am really looking forward to this."
Zyng fuses traditional recipes from Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam into noodle and rice bowls, salads and appetizers. The full-service restaurant will seat 80 to 100 people for lunch or dinner at fast food prices — $10 will buy an entrée and a drink.
The restaurants also will offer a full bar with Zyngria — Zyng’s own twist on Sangria, and an assortment of Sake and tea.
Zyng’s signature is "Teppanyaki Teamwork," where customers create their own dishes by choosing from seven variations of noodles or rice, meat or tofu, and one of 10 different sauces.
Zyng first opened in Montreal in 1998 after businessman Arnold Shostak had the idea while taking a culinary tour of Asia. Fransmart, a franchise corporation based in Alexandria, Va., joined Shostak in 2002 to create Zyng International and to extend the Zyng franchise into the United States.
Fransmart only sells franchises in multi-unit territories. According to Fransmart spokeswoman Molly Brown, each 3,000-square-foot restaurant costs $300,000 to open, plus a $25,000 down payment to Fransmart. Each Zyng rstaurant is expected to average $1.2 million in revenue within the first year, said Brown.
The first Zyng Noodlery in the United States opened in Wichita, Kan., in April. According to Brown, the restaurant will most likely exceed the first-year revenue estimate. The Wichita location is still the only Zyng currently open in the nation, but with 160 units sold, Brown said soon at least one will be opening every month.
The make-your-own noodle dish is not a new concept, and has spawned chains in the Chicago area with the likes of Stir Crazy and Flat Top Grill. Smirl is excited to bring the trend to Milwaukee, along with the new ideas that Zyng carries.
"The food and the atmosphere, coupled with service excellence and the right location, will make it a winner," said Smirl. "I think Milwaukee is ready, and they will embrace it."

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Oct. 17, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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