Dining Innovation, the Japanese restaurant chain, plans to grow to 20 UK sites over the next five years and 100 by 2027, MCA has learnt.
The group, which has 100 restaurants in Japan and a further 40 worldwide, currently operates one site in Holborn under its Kintan Japanese barbecue brand, with a second site in Oxford Circus set to open in October.
Kazuharu Tsukui, managing director of Dining Innovation UK, told MCA that the company plans to bring a number of its brands to the UK, including its Tsuru Ton Tan udon noodle brasserie, which has already expanded to New York.
He said the group was interested in talking to investors to accelerate its growth plans after it has proved the model at its upcoming Great Castle Street site.
He said: “It will give us a good platform for the brand and prove the model. We will start by looking at more sites in London but eventually we would like to go across the UK.
“There are other Japanese restaurant chains in the UK but we have the authentic Japanese model that no one else has really been able to do so far.”
Tsukui said that the Great Castle Street site would follow the same operating model as the Holborn site, which opened in 2014, but stressed that there would be a fresh design focus specific to the area.
Kintan is based on the “yakiniku” cuisine of meats cooked in a grill in the centre of the table as well as a selection of grilled, rice and noodle dishes cooked to order. The average spend per head is £30.
On the dining culture in the UK, he said: “New York is probably 10 years ahead of Tokyo and Tokyo is probably 10 years ahead of London. But it is changing fast and British people are very open to different cultures.”