When looking at the fastest growing food franchises in America, most of the top 50 franchises fall into a few distinct categories: burgers and fries, deli sandwiches, pizza, chicken wings and tacos. There are of course some exceptions that are also doing well across the country, but the largest food franchises generally focus on these types of products. One type of franchise that hasn’t had much nationwide success is sushi. Sushi franchises have failed to catch on, with most consumers trusting local one-offs and mom-and-pop shops instead of larger franchises.
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Though this has been the case in the past, a UK franchise is expanding its presence in America and is trying to change these consumer perceptions. Yo! Sushi has locations all across the world, and the franchise is known for making the sushi restaurant experience fun, exciting and very unique.
The Kaiten Sushi Concept
One of the more common types of sushi bars in Japan is the kaiten sushi bar. In these restaurants, sushi and other dishes travel all around the restaurant by conveyor belt. Customers are able to see the types of foods they want to eat and can then pick the plates directly off the conveyor belt and put them on their table.
This approach made great waves in the UK, and the first locations were tremendously popular. There’s something very fun about having a conveyor belt that encircles the restaurant and passes by every table. Customers don’t have to wait a long time to start eating and can start getting plates as soon as they sit down. In addition, the traveling food has a way of engaging customers’ sense of sight and smell, getting them to purchase and try types of Japanese food that they otherwise wouldn’t order.
The Yo! Sushi Experience
Though the U.S. does not have a similarly large franchise, there are already kaiten sushi restaurants across the country. Yo! Sushi will have to show why their franchise is going to be more successful than the similar restaurants that never took off.
One innovation of the franchise is the use of fluorescently colored plates. Different plate colors have different prices, allowing customers to easily watch their spending and making it very simple for the wait staff to tally up the bill at the end of the meal. In addition, the franchise takes a similar design concept throughout each restaurant space, using bright colors and unique artwork to draw people in.
The restaurant franchise has also done extremely well due to its high-quality ingredients and sushi. Its locations in the UK constantly draw rave reviews, and its menu includes over 80 delicious Japanese dishes for those who are looking for more than sushi.
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The business currently has 86 units across the world — 73 in the UK and 13 internationally. In addition to the United States, there are locations in Norway, Denmark, Ireland, and the Middle East. The two U.S. locations are in Paramus, N.J. and Sarasota, Fla. There are big plans for future expansion, and the next few restaurants are being developed for Short Hills, N.J and Tampa, Fla.