Sticks’n’Sushi is achieving like for likeSticks’n’Sushi is achieving like-for-like sales growth of 12% in its mature UK estate, global CEO Rod McKie has told MCA.

McKie said the Japanese inspired, Danish founded restaurant chain was on track to open its next UK site in Beak Street, Soho, in September, a 190-cover art deco style new-build.

The former Welcome Break CEO said the concept was “bang on trend” for the foreseeable future, hitting consumer trends for light, lean Japanese style food, with a focus on sustainable seafood, and a Scandinavian twist.

The Maj Invest-backed brand, which was number one in MCA and AlixPartners’ Growth Index earlier this year, is under no pressure to set targets for expansion, and will take an opportunistic approach to expansion, McKie added.

“We are busy looking at further opportunities in the UK. I think with what’s going on in the sector, we can afford to be choosy and selective”, he told MCA.

“We are not going to full into the trap that others have fallen into, where we have to turn around and grow. Our investors are very much about long term opportunities. There’s no rush, and we’re not going to fall foul by being forced into expansion and then see it all come crashing down.”

He continued: “Too many restaurant chains have been forced into this over-expansion scenario and are sadly paying the price. Every restaurant has got to be as success in its own right

“We can’t afford to do an unsuccessful restaurant – they cost too much money. We’re taking the time and effort to choose the right site, opening it for the long term and be patient in bringing that to fruition before looking to the next one.”

On the contemporary appeal of Sticks’n’Sushi, McKie added: “We are a blend of a Japanese business with a Danish twist. Everything about that is prevalent for today and prevalent for tomorrow, in terms of lightness, health and quality.

Japan is very much in vogue, as is fish, white meat, sustainability. The consumer is becoming more discerning, and the direction of travel for us is we’re hitting all of that

“We are bang on not just for today’s market, but I’d say we’re bang on for the next five years.”