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WaBa Grill to expand in Arizona with 10-store development deal

The first of the 10 restaurants included in the new agreement will open in Glendale, followed by locations in Gilbert, Surprise and Chandler.

WaBa Grill, a healthy rice bowl chain, is significantly expanding its presence in Arizona, with a recently-signed development deal adding 10 new locations throughout Maricopa and Pima counties.

Signed by longtime WaBa Grill franchisee Jerry Bajwa of Bajwa Group of Companies, the new Arizona development deal aims to open the 10 WaBa Grill locations within the next seven years.

Bajwa, who currently owns and operates 19 successful WaBa Grill restaurants in southern California, plus the brand’s lone Arizona location in Tempe, now has exclusive territory rights to develop the brand throughout the two Arizona counties.

The first of the 10 restaurants included in the new agreement will open in Glendale, followed by locations in Gilbert, Surprise and Chandler.

“Our WaBa Grill location in Tempe has experienced tremendous success, which makes us extremely eager to introduce this healthy rice bowl chain to new markets in the state, including Arizona communities with limitless growth potential that also embrace a health-conscious lifestyle,” Bajwa said.

“The areas throughout Maricopa and Pima counties that soon will be home to WaBa Grill restaurants can look forward to a nutritious menu and the convenience of healthy meals served at super speed – and we cannot wait to open our first location in Glendale later this year.”

WaBa Grill was founded in 2006 on the principle that healthy food made with quality ingredients should be accessible to all. Bold flavors and healthy food are the main attraction at WaBa Grill, which offers better-for-you options packed with fire-grilled proteins, healthy grains and fresh vegetables.

Protein choices are plentiful and include fresh, never frozen chicken, marinated ribeye steak, wild-caught salmon, jumbo shrimp and organic tofu, which guests may add to any bowl, plate or salad and then customize with a variety of flavorful sauces, including the fan favorite WaBa sauce.

WaBa’s Plantspired Steak, a 100% plant-based protein alternative that has been well received by vegans and non-vegans alike, was introduced in 2021 and continues to be a guest favorite.

“Having developed successful WaBa Grill restaurants alongside Jerry Bajwa for many years, we are immensely proud of his brand custodianship and remain confident that Jerry and his hardworking team will continue representing WaBa Grill as he always has during this period of significant expansion in Arizona,” said Steven Wang, director of real estate, development and construction at WaBa Grill.

“Development throughout Arizona has been booming in the last decade, but the Grand Canyon State still does not have the significant presence of a healthy rice bowl brand like WaBa Grill, which is why we are so excited to expand our access to Arizona locals, travelers and anyone seeking a healthy and convenient meal.”

The nearly 200-unit brand is primed to continue expansion, having identified ideal markets throughout the West and is seeking new franchise partners looking to expand their portfolios with an established healthy fast casual brand on the rise. For more details about partnering with WaBa Grill, visit