Itsu, the Asian-inspired, healthy fast-food brand, has unveiled its new ‘Store of the Future’ concept, which uses robot technology.

The first site opened in London’s Great Portland Street earlier this month, with more to follow across the UK.

The new store design was re-imagined during lockdown specifically for the post-coronavirus world.

The brainchild of itsu founder Julian Metcalfe OBE, it was designed to limit touchpoints, and any unnecessary contact with dishes and between staff & customers, using ‘sushi robots’ and digital ordering technology.

At Great Portland Street, there is a single customer collection point and no front-of-house fridge to reduce multi handling.

The order and pay screens are card only, and enable orders to be placed in under 40 seconds, with customers able to customise hot dishes.

The maki and nigiri sushi robots from Japan removes human handling, decrease food wastage and increase the speed of production, with one robot able to make 4,800 pieces in an hour.

Itsu’s new menu includes more than 70% of dishes under 500 calories.

All hot dishes are steamed rather than fried, with all 35 dishes on the menu available in lighter vegetable or protein only options. A third of the menu is now plant-based.

Julian Metcalfe, founder of itsu said: “I’ll put in whatever it takes to continue itsu’s success despite the obstacles posed by covid. Little expense has been spared on this store of the future – it’s top-class stuff which would not look out of place in Kyoto. It’s far more than a business, it’s an absolute crusade. Not since the 50s has fast food caught up with changing tastes and nutrition needs. It’s a start. We will lead and many will follow.”

The address of the new store is 246-248 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5JL.