Building on its existing empire of supermarket kiosks, the brand hopes to take things in a more experimental direction at its debut bricks-and-mortar site, as MCA’s sister title Food Spark finds out.

Having infiltrated supermarkets from Germany to Italy, Sweden to Spain, as well as Waitrose stores up and down the country, Sushi Daily has decided to move beyond branded kiosks and brave the high street.

Now open on New Oxford Street in London, the concept’s first bricks-and-mortar site sees founder Kelly Choi partner with former Feng Sushi managing director Silla Bjerrum.

“I’ve always enjoyed new challenges, and it feels like it’s the right time to open a high street location after the success of the kiosks,” said Choi, adding, “I’m delighted to be working with Silla as she is a passionate artist when it comes to her technique, and we are completely aligned in our business approach.”

Under Bjerrum’s management, Feng Sushi won a number of awards for its sustainable ethos, and the new Sushi Daily spot is expected to focus on environmentally friendly practices as well as seasonality.

“Although aware of the competition, we also believe in what we can offer to the customer: fresh quality sushi, made on site in front of you every day to ensure absolute depth of flavour and a good variety of recipes,” Bjerrum tells Food Spark.

So how are Bjerrum and Choi hoping to lure punters away from existing sushi specialists?

Brand recognition is an advantage

Sushi Daily’s high street debut has a number of advantages that complete newcomers do not. Waitrose customers, for instance, will already be familiar with the brand, but perhaps more importantly, management already knows which of its items are most popular with consumers. These staples will form the core offering at the casual dining venue, with other Japanese classics adding breadth of choice.

“One of our best-loved menus is Sushi and Me, including a selection of salmon, tuna and hiramasa,” says Bjerrum. “Our loyal customers will recognise our bespoke range and will be delighted with new additions of sushi products, hot food, pots and snacks.”

These new additions include gyoza, katsu, yakisoba noodles and miso, as well as power smoothies for those seeking a nutritional pick-me-up.

“We also have an interchangeable daily pop-up showcasing new menu ideas with a weekly theme, like vegan ramen, Pacific Rim curries, bao buns and many more creative ideas from the team,” notes Bjerrum.

Minimising food waste is a challenge that the Sushi Daily team have also been looking into. Salmon is sourced from sustainable farms and its body incorporated in all sorts of ways, from the bones – used to make a spicy miso broth – to the crispy skin, which is on offer as a sushi roll.

On the vegetable side, there are a number of plant-based sushi options as well as seasonal vegetable pots. “We also make our own pickles to support a tasty varied meal,” adds Bjerrum.

On a roll

Since launching the first Sushi Daily counter in 2010, Choi has expanded her reach to over 750 locations across Europe. Last year, it was revealed that the company’s profits in 2017 had increased 50%, with sales rising 23% to £269m.

While the rate of expansion for the casual dining concept may not be as rapid, the London debut will almost certainly be followed by further openings in the months and years to come.

“This is our pilot store, establishing the brand in the high street, and we feel positive about the future,” says Bjerrum.

 

Glenn Evans, Las Iguanas, on Food Spark

Article originally published on foodspark.com, a digital subscription service designed to inspire and inform innovation across the food industry.

For anyone needing to stay ahead of the culinary curve, Food Spark will offer immediate access to the emerging trends, ingredients, personalities and headwinds defining the future of food. Explore more content by visiting Food Spark or by requesting a demo: joinus@foodspark.com or 01293 610371.