Ramen Franchises in the UK

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ramen noodle franchise

With the ever-increasing diversity of the UK’s food scene, Japanese cuisine is more popular than ever. For many people, Asian food restaurants provide a welcome alternative to the vast quantity of outlets selling burgers and other fast foods that seem to line every British high street. For others, Asian cuisine is simply a tasty and often healthy lunch or dinner option.

One popular Asian dish is ramen, a type of noodle soup that originates from China but has become one of Japan’s archetypal dishes. Ramen dishes use a particular type of noodle, which are yellow in colour as a result of being mixed with alkaline salts, allowing them to maintain their structure and texture in hot soup. Ramen noodles became popular in Japan after the second world war and are still one of the country’s favourite foodstuffs, making up over 25 percent of all meals eaten outside of the home (Kushner, 2012).

While ramen dishes can be nutritious, the term holds connotations of fast food, and most dishes have high carbohydrate and fat content. As a result of this reputation, Japanese people commonly refer to the national dish as ‘gakusei ryori’, meaning ‘student cuisine’.

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Despite this, ramen remains a favourite among Japanese consumers – and consumers around the world. In Japan, specialised restaurants called ‘ramen-ya’ are the ideal place to purchase a bowl of quality ramen. There are more than 35,000 ramen-ya across the country, and there is even a ramen museum called the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, which was founded in 1994 as the world’s first food-themed amusement park. Here, visitors can sample ramen from nine different restaurants and explore ramen gift shops.

Moving away from traditional Japanese dishes, instant noodles have also seen huge success across the world. In 2017, the global demand for instant noodles reached more than 100 billion annual servings – over 13 pots for every person on the planet.

The popularity of ramen could be put down to its many possible variations. Popular ramen dishes differ from region to region in Japan, but some of the most common types of ramen include shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt), miso (soybean paste) and tonkotsu (pork bone). In addition to the main flavour of the ramen, each dish is often finished with a topping. This could be bamboo shoots, shredded leeks or onions, beansprouts, eggs, seaweed, sweetcorn or butter, but 95 percent of the ramen found in Japan is topped with chashu, Chinese-style roasted pork.

Japanese Ramen Franchise

Japan is probably the best place to sample traditional ramen, and Fukuoka is the hub of all things ramen – the city in Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, has 2,000 ramen-ya. But ramen-lovers outside of Japan needn’t fret. Japanese food franchises specialising in ramen dishes are seeing success across the world. Many of these harbour great potential for investors interested in joining the food industry.

Kizuki Ramen

This franchise brings authentic Japanese food to the US. Serving 12 different ramens, as well as rice, meat and tofu dishes, and smaller dishes such as dumplings, buns and vegetable tempura, Kizuki Ramen prepares its food according to Japanese tradition. Authenticity is paramount to this franchise, which imports any necessary ingredients directly from Japan if they are not available in the US.

Kizuki Ramen currently operates 25 units across Washington, Oregon, Illinois and Indiana in the US, and in Japan and Taiwan. Investors who would like to benefit from partnering with the restaurant franchise should get in touch via the company’s website.

Ramen Noodle Franchise

As the popularity of Asian cuisine builds in the western world, a vast number of restaurant franchises are finding success by catering for the high demand for noodle dishes. One such franchise is Chozen Noodle.

Chozen Noodle

This restaurant chain is based in the UK and operates more than 20 units, 15 of which are franchised. The chain strives to bring the rich diversity of Asia to British consumers, and deliberately limits its menu of main meals to between eight and ten options, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Chozen Noodle meals are made with freshness in mind. Customers will find dishes inspired by a number of Asian countries including China, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand. Main meals include popular dishes like chicken katsu curry, sweet and sour chicken and thai green chicken. Salads, sushi, spring rolls and prawn crackers are also on the menu.

In London and Oxford, Chozen Noodle dishes can even be delivered to customers’ doors, as a result of partnerships with Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Investors should be in possession of at least £30,000 in capital to open their own Chozen Noodle. Training and support are provided by franchise team leaders, ensuring that franchisees have all the skills and know-how to launch their business.

Marugame Udon

Marugame Udon franchise

Marugame Udon

Japanese owned; serving authentic Japanese food to Europe

Marugame Udon is an established Japanese restaurant concept serving freshly-made on site udon noodles, tempura [...]

£250,000 Minimum investment
Restaurant, Coffee Shop & Pub
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This franchise specialises in udon - thick wheat flour noodles. In Japanese-style restaurants with open kitchens where customers can watch their order being prepared, Marugame Udon offers fresh udon, tempura and omusubi rice balls. The restaurant aims to serve each of its customers within just 30 seconds of taking their order and has the potential to serve over 250 customers an hour – that’s more than one every 15 seconds.

Having already launched more than 1,000 restaurants in Japan, South-East Asia, Australia and in California in the US, Marugame Udon now has its sights on the UK, meaning that business-minded British entrepreneurs have the opportunity to help the brand’s expansion.

There’s plenty of choice for anyone joining the restaurant franchise, with three different models on offer: the food court model (500+ square feet), the street-front model (1,500+ square feet) or the stand-alone model (2,500 square feet). Depending on the type of store chosen, an investment of between £225,000 and £500,000 will need to be made. Marugame Udon is particularly interested in master franchisees who are willing to build five or more units in one region. Once on board, franchisees will benefit from operational advice and regular store appraisals.

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