Franchise Fun: Michael Wong, Bento Sushi

How Michael Wong is helping Bento Sushi ride the sushi wave to success

Caricature illustration of Michael Wong from Bento Sushi eating sushi while riding a wave

As the National Director of Retail Operations for Bento Sushi, Canada’s largest sushi provider, Michael Wong has a lot on his plate. The quick service sushi provider operates nationally in both traditional and non-traditional locations, including grocery stores, universities and colleges, hospitals, and business service settings, and is making its mark on the market south of the border, with rapid growth in the United States.

This year, Bento Sushi is also celebrating its 20th anniversary, and through his answers below, Wong gives us a taste of the leadership that has helped pave the way for this success. Read on to learn more about how the driven Wong embraces change and fosters franchisee relationships, while never losing sight of his love and loyalty to family, and his passion for the blue waters of the ocean.


The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is…

I had the opportunity to fly a plane. What an experience it was to soar 3,000 feet above the ground at over 100 miles an hour!

In its best form, work is…

Not work at all, but a lifestyle.

A good franchisee…

Is passionate about the brand, driven to work within the system, and understands the need for a work-life balance.

A good franchisor…

Carefully assesses and selects the right partners and locations. They must be dedicated and committed to ensuring their franchisees and brand continue to be successful.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is…

Do your due diligence. A franchise agreement can be a 10-year relationship. Choose the right partner!

My top advice for new franchisors is…

Have clear, measurable goals, and tight systems and processes. And choose the right partners!

The most important thing in life is…

Family.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is…

Be out on the ocean, about to jump into clear blue water.

The hardest thing for me to do is…

Sit back and do nothing.

My favourite drink is…

Unsweetened iced green tea.

If I could change one thing…

The Donald (Trump). Enough said.

If I could meet anyone…

I would meet Chuang Tzu, a Chinese philosopher who was poetic, witty, and mind blowing.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is…

Michael Gerber, whose book allowed me to see how to work on the business, rather than in the business.

Canadian franchising is…

A great business model for those looking to “work for themselves, not by themselves.”

The franchise system began because…

Ken Valvur and Glenn Brown had a vision, saw an opportunity, and ran with it.

The most positive influence on my life as a person is…

My father. He taught me to be humble and to keep the ego in check.

The key to success is…

Falling down and getting back up.

I’d like my friends to describe me as…

Someone who is always trying to bring people together.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is…

One day down the road, to be celebrating my 50th anniversary with my wife, Michelle.

My personal motto is…

Change is the only constant.

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is…

Dive into the To Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa.