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Yo! Sushi to expand to US

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Yo! Sushi is planning to open its first restaurants in the US next month as the multinational sushi chain strongly denied reports it was also discussing a buyout. The UK-based company, which uses a restaurant-encircling conveyor belt to deliver food to customers, said it would open its first restaurant in Washington DC’s Union train station in July as it targets four further US openings by summer next year. “We’ll have three in DC and I hope we will do another couple in a city such as Miami, Boston or Chicago – we’re targeting areas where there is heavy footfall such as transit centres and central business districts,” said Robin Rowland, Yo! Sushi’s chief executive, who added that the company had no plans to sell up. “We have no plans to sell Yo! Sushi and there’s been no discussions about it – we’re happy where we’re at, particularly looking at America,” he said. Meanwhile the company, which also has branches in United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, said there was scope to double the number of its UK restaurants, currently 62, by targeting train stations, airports, shopping malls and business districts. “I think we could do [up to] ten sites per year,” said Mr Rowland. The restaurant’s conveyor belt is particularly popular among single diners who account for about a third of its 3.5m UK customers each year. “We are not a destination restaurant,” said Mr Rowland. “The typical UK customer is in and out in 25 minutes … they are someone who doesn’t want the rigmarole of sitting down and being served, they want an elegant pit stop with fresh food and they want to control the meal.” Like other London-focused restaurants Yo! Sushi has managed to sustain like-for-like sales growth since 2008 despite the consumer spending downturn, according to the company. “We’ve found out that people eat out less often during the week but come the weekend they seem to spend more,” Mr Rowland said.
Financial Times

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Author: retailaccounting

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