Sushi Samba London: Do They Franchise in the UK?

16/12/2018 08:00 | Food franchises

Sushi Samba London: Do They Franchise in the UK?

In recent years, fusion foods have become an increasingly popular way of bringing something new to the global restaurant scene. Sometimes, the combinations of cuisines may appear a little strange. However, theres typically a good reason for these diverse culinary styles being thrown together. SushiSamba is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Here, we take a look at what SushiSamba is, whether they franchise, and how this wonderful mix of cultures came together.

What is SushiSamba?

SushiSamba is an international chain of restaurants that offer customers an interesting combination of Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian cuisines. Drawing on the historic cultural exchange that occurred when a large number of Japanese groups emigrated to South America, it serves sushi alongside ceviches, tempura, and churrasco.

SushiSamba is also famous for its colourful and vibrant aesthetic and carnival atmosphere. All SushiSamba locations are beautifully designed restaurants that enhance the eating experience by transporting customers to the heart of South America. Various locations regularly feature musical performances, and food-themed events draw large crowds on a weekly basis. Whether youre looking for a Japanese whisky tasting evening or fancy trying a Samba brunch, theres an event thats just right for you

A brief history of SushiSamba

The first SushiSamba restaurant opened in New York, in 1999, and instantly became a popular choice amongst the trend-conscious diners of the Big Apples lively culinary scene. It successfully captured the public imagination to such an extent that it featured on an episode of TV show Sex in the City. Though this original restaurant has since closed, other locations have opened in the US, Europe, and the UK.

Since first opening, SushiSamba has been conceived of as a smart and stylish restaurant that has attempted to foster a cool and classy reputation. This has resulted in the chain opening restaurants in premium locations around the world. When it comes to establishing themselves in a new city, SushiSamba knows how to set the tone.

Sushi Samba restaurant London

In the UK capital, for instance, Sushi Samba London opted to locate their first UK restaurant in the 110 Bishopsgate skyscraper the tallest building in the city's financial heartland. Not only did it situate the restaurant in one of the most central and prestigious locations possible, but it also chose to occupy the tower's top floors, ensuring diners had spectacular views over the entire city of London.

This first restaurant has been followed by another located in the world-famous Covent Garden. Situated on top of the piazza, allowing for great views of the market area, it is a slightly more relaxed restaurant than the Bishopsgate location. However, it still serves the same menu and has been just as well received as its equivalent in the City.

In the US, SushiSamba now has restaurants in Las Vegas and Miami. While the Miami restaurant is just a short walk from the beach, the Las Vegas branch is housed within the Palazzo, one of the city's most famous casinos. Both restaurants are renowned for their extravagant design and for bringing a tropical taste to the US.

A third restaurant can be found in Amsterdam, in the UNESCO World Heritage Singelgracht. Colourful, light, and airy, the restaurant occupies a unique position alongside one of the citys many canals.

Samba Sushi London

Currently, SushiSamba does not offer franchising opportunities in the UK. Both of the existing SushiSamba locations are company owned and operated, and there are no plans to offer franchising opportunities in the UK. In part this due to the exclusive nature of the brand. SushiSamba has been successful due to the way in which they appeal to a high-flying, trend-setting customer base. In other words, they've carefully manufactured a reputation for being cool. Maintaining the business' high standards and retaining that sense of exclusivity is essential to uphold this image. Both of these factors mean that the company is unlikely to offer franchising opportunities anytime soon in the UK.

Do SushiSamba franchise at all?

SushiSamba does not offer franchising opportunities in any international markets whatsoever at the moment. With just five restaurants to its name, SushiSamba is a relatively small chain that appears content to expand organically. The elaborate design of each restaurant, as well as their prominent position in key markets also make it unlikely that franchising will be offered anytime soon. The high start-up costs and the difficulty in finding and financing prestigious locations (such as Bishopsgate and Covent Garden) mean that sufficient investment from franchisees would be challenging to generate.

Will SushiSamba franchise in the future?

While its impossible to say whether SushiSamba will eventually decide to adopt the franchising model, there is nothing to suggest that theyll do so anytime soon. While their flagship restaurants continue to enjoy a stellar reputation, its highly likely that the business will continue operating on a smaller scale. However, should the restaurant suffer a reversal in fortunes or should trends move on and leave them behind, franchising could prove fruitful. Such a move would allow the business to expand rapidly, reaching an entirely new audience, and shifting the focus from premium cuisine to a more accessible dining experience.

Alternatives to SushiSamba

Though you may be disappointed to find that SushiSamba doesnt offer any franchising opportunities, there are plenty of other businesses to look into, should you want to open a restaurant. For those attracted to SushiSamba because of the South American cuisine, Las Iguanas is a good option. Alternatively, Wok & Go and Wok to Walk both provide would-be franchisees with a chance to build a business around exotic Asian cuisines. Wolf takes the premium dining experience and applies it to Italian foods, serving up excellent street food offerings in a fresh and classy environment. Finally, Caf Rouge takes the traditional French bistro and brings it to cities around the UK. All of these franchising opportunities have proven remarkably successful and, for the right franchisee, would make a profitable investment.

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