Top 5 Sushi Bar Franchises in the UK

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top sushi bar restuarants

If you’re looking to get into franchising and see the food industry as your best option, you may want to consider investing in a sushi bar franchise. With a wide range of investment opportunities on offer, there’s a sushi business to suit every taste.

In recent years, sushi has taken the UK by storm, and it's no longer difficult to find a good sushi bar in most big cities. Even packed-lunch sushi has taken off – consumers are buying so much of the raw fish from high street shops and supermarkets that the retail market is now worth approximately £68 million (Seafish). Therefore, to meet customer demand, there was a 67 percent increase in the number of Japanese restaurants between 2010 and 2015 (Statista). This makes starting a sushi bar franchise a tempting prospect for any would-be investor.

Reasons why starting a sushi bar franchise is a good idea

  1. It’s a large market that is on track to increase in the coming years.
  2. You can benefit from the nationwide shift to eat clean. It’s been found that 60 percent of people eat Japanese food because they think it’s healthy (Wing Yip).
  3. The diversity of Japanese food means you can create a unique dining experience and offer a delicious fusion of flavours.
  4. There are already lots of successful sushi businesses that have experienced impressive business growth with the franchise model. You can make the most of operating under an established brand with an existing customer base.

These are just some of the advantages of running a Japanese restaurant franchise, but we cover many more in the linked article.

Sushi bar franchise opportunities

1.YO! Sushi

Launched in 1997, YO! Sushi is the biggest sushi restaurant franchise in the UK. The franchise network comprises approximately 100 restaurants across the globe, with half of these being operated by franchisees.

  • Becoming a YO! Sushi franchisee: Being passionate about Japanese cuisine is a must if you want to be accepted onto the franchise programme. Having previous experience in the restaurant sector isn’t a requirement, yet it is looked on fondly.
  • How much you need to invest: To open a single store you need to make a capital investment of £250,000 - £550,000. For a multi-site operation, you’ll need to have up to £1 million to open five units in five years.
  • What you get for your investment: In return, you will take part in training workshops, receive on-site visits and have invaluable support throughout the process.

2. ISO Sushi

ISO sushi provides authentic Japanese sushi, and uses only the finest of ingredients, guaranteeing all dishes are of the highest quality. The restaurant also specialises in wok-fried and grilled dishes, allowing for greater diversity and ensuring there’s something for everyone on the menu.

  • Becoming an ISO Sushi franchisee: As a relatively new franchise, there are many remarkable investment opportunities available and new franchisees will be able to select a territory anywhere they wish in the country.
  • How much you need to invest: ISO Sushi is also an affordable investment opportunity and benefits from a lower franchise fee than other, better-known brands. For just £10,000, you could manage your own sushi restaurant and begin building your franchise empire. A 5% royalty fee and 1% marketing fee are levied each month by the franchisor, but ISO Sushi advertises a potential profit margin of 300% for its franchisees.
  • What you get for your investment: After investing, franchisees receive help selecting a business location, fitting the restaurant, and launching the new franchise unit. Operations training and marketing tools are both provided, with a particular focus on food hygiene, customer service skills and marketing. All franchisees are encouraged to set high standards and to push for greater revenue, allowing you to grow your business as quickly as possible.

3. Sushi Daily

Sushi Daily is part of the KellyDeli group and operates more than 700 kiosks across Europe. The business has prioritised the creation of high-quality, authentic sushi and has built its business around the expertise of the much-respected Master of Sushi, Yamamoto-San, coupled with the business acumen of Kelly Choi.

The pair worked together closely to design an entirely new sushi experience for European consumers and their first store opened in 2010 in Lyon, France. Since then, expansion has occurred at a remarkably rapid pace, and you'll find Sushi Daily kiosks in 10 countries, including the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, amongst others.

  • Becoming a Sushi Daily franchisee: You don’t need any previous restaurant or business experience to be accepted onto the franchise programme. Each case is looked at individually before a decision is made.
  • How much you need to invest: Franchisees will need to invest approximately £25,000 - £35,000 to buy a Sushi Daily franchise, though this figure will vary according to location and the size of the kiosk.
  • What you get for your investment: You’ll receive assistance accessing prime retail locations, be able to utilise the company’s existing network of partners and gain a great deal of support from the franchisor. Training in sushi preparation, food hygiene, logistics, and management are all provided, and all franchisees receive the business’ full collection of operations manuals.

4. Marugame Udon

This Japanese food franchise’s primary offering is its fresh udon, rather than sushi. Having already launched more than 1,000 restaurants in Japan, South-East Asia, Australia and in California, Marugame Udon now has its sights on the UK. It’s calling for business-minded British entrepreneurs to help the brand’s expansion.

  • Becoming a Marugame Udon franchisee: The Japanese restaurant franchise is looking for area development franchisees who are prepared to open at least five locations. It asks that candidates are business-minded and eager to play a key part in the brand’s growth.
  • How much you need to invest: In order to become a Marugame Udon franchisee, you need to make a minimum investment of £250,000 and a total investment of £500,000.
  • What you get for your investment: You’ll be designated your own exclusive territory and granted access to the comprehensive training programme. Marugame Udon is completely dedicated to brand development, so it is constantly updating the operations manual, promotional materials and website.

5. Wok To Walk

While this also isn’t strictly a sushi restaurant, it is likely to appeal to a similar customer base. There are currently over 85 Wok To Walk stores giving customers their Asian food fix and taking the food service industry by storm.

  • Becoming a Wok To Walk franchisee: The franchise opportunity is flexible. You can open a flagship store or a hole-in-the-wall spot, it’s up to you. It’s the versatile business model that attracts all types of customers. Wok To Walk is looking for entrepreneurs who share its ambitious expansion plans.
  • How much you need to invest: Restaurant start-up costs can vary, but you can expect to contribute approximately £100,000 as a minimum investment.
  • What you get for your investment: As well as operating under a globally recognised brand name, you will benefit from a tried and tested training programme. The HQ team works with franchisees and provides bespoke consultancy services and support.

Start a sushi bar franchise today

Hopefully one of these exciting sushi bar franchise opportunites has taken your fancy. But if you’re still unsure whether this is the right sector for you, we recommend heading over to our UK Franchise Directory where you can request more information for hundreds of franchises.

>> Read more articles on the Sushi sector

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