Yo! Sushi to expand out of London

Yo! Sushi, the “fast-food” Japanese fish restaurant, is expanding outside London for the first time with its fifth outlet planned for the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

Yo! Sushi managing director and founder Simon Woodroffe is expected to sign a deal with Bluewater developer Lend Lease this week, confirming the first of seven new outlets this year. It is part of a three-year target to open 25 Yo! Sushis in the UK.

Woodroffe is planning a cellar bar, called Yo! Below, situated underneath the first Yo! Sushi outlet in Poland Street, in London’s Soho. Design agency 4i is working on a branded Mercedes Smart car – one of only two of these small concept cars in the country.

Woodroffe is also proposing deals with joint venture partners in the US, Australia and the Middle East to expand the Yo! Sushi chain.

It is hoped negotiations in the US will lead to a 25-outlet chain within three years. Woodroffe feels the Yo! Sushi concept, where diners sit around a conveyor belt which carries pre-prepared Japanese meals, would be well-suited to the US. He says: “Our experience in the UK shows the concept works in airports and shopping malls as well as in an event-type restaurant.”

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