Itsu, the Julian Metcalfe-founded chain, has opened its first site in the US, in New York.

The company, which operates c70 sites in the UK, has debuted in the US at 530 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.

The group has opened a unit on the ground floor of the 490,000sq ft property located on 39th Street and Seventh Avenue in the city’s Fashion District.

Itsu is hoping that the 530 Seventh Avenue opening will be the first of many in the city and in the US, where it hopes to follow the success of Pret A Manger, which Metcalfe also co-founded.

The new store, located on 7th Avenue, opened two weeks ahead of schedule and has already had a successful first week in business.

The company said the store opening was a culmination of a two year intense project, with a team, led by Ben Fenton (SVP), ”carefully researching the US market to ensure all customers needs were not only met, but completely surpassed”.

The company said: ”Careful measures have been put in place to ensure that this new itsu store stands out not only from previous UK ventures into the US food-to-go market, but also current US competitors. Measures include: Worked closely with Procure 4 to foster long term US partners, led by Lucy McCarthy (VP); Intense four week training programme, led by Head of Operations and People Joanna Fenton, to ensure new all American itsu team are up to speed on the Itsu philosophy and operational procedures, therefore offering a no-fuss, streamlined customer experience

”Beautiful store design, led by James Sarjeant (VP) to achieve stand out in the US market and provide premium brand experience for customers. Store interior is completely different to the traditional grab and go concept currently in the city. High quality ingredients at no extra cost to the customer, to reflect the itsu eat beautiful philosophy, for example, all chicken used is free from antibiotics.”

Metcalfe said: “It’s an extremely exciting time for itsu as we make our first venture in the United States. We’re confident that our healthy, delicious, calorie considered, Asian inspired dishes will strike a chord with New Yorkers looking for something a little bit different to what is currently on offer. Watch this space for more exciting ventures in the future.”

The company is set to double its presence in Oxford.

The 72-strong company, which already operates a site in the city’s Cornmarket Street, will also open a unit at the Westgate shopping scheme. It will be the first time the brand has opened a second site in a city or town outside of London.