Itsu heads to Oxford for first site outside London

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United kingdom, Oxford

Itsu, which started out in 1997 and has grown to more than 40 restaurants in London since then, is set to open its first site outside the capital in Oxford this week
Itsu, which started out in 1997 and has grown to more than 40 restaurants in London since then, is set to open its first site outside the capital in Oxford this week
Julian Metcalfe's Asian-inspired restaurant brand Itsu will open its first site outside London - in Oxford - this week as it looks to grow the business further in the UK and abroad.

The 104-cover Itsu in Oxford is set to open its doors for business in Cornmarket Street on Friday 27 September and is part of the company's plans to build a national and international presence. 

It will be managed by Ben Ambridge, former general manager of the Bishopsgate and Victoria branches, and will create 18 jobs within the city. 

Itsu chief executive Gerard Loughlan said the latest opening signified a new direction for the business, which has so far kept within London since it started in 1997 as an independent sushi restaurant.

“Itsu has grown significantly from an independent sushi restaurant to a chain of Asian-inspired, healthy fast food restaurants," he said. 

“We now have over 40 restaurants and shops in the UK, and it’s fantastic to see this expansion continuing with a new store in Oxford. We’re looking forward to opening our doors to the city very soon.”

Expansion

Itsu, which offers diners more than 60 dishes, including noodles, salads, sushi and frozen yoghurt and prides itself on selling healthy fast food under £5, aims to keep up its expansion rate target of eight to 12 new sites a year. 

By the end of next year the company will have 50 units in London and is planning to enter the US in four years' time. It will also continue to look at other UK cities, although none have been specified. 

A spokesperson for the company said: "It was always the plan to build and grow Itsu to have a national presence. Now is the right time for Itsu to step outside of London, as it's not just in the capital where there is a demand for affordable and healthy fast food.

"Oxford is ideal because its proximity to London means Oxonians are already familiar with Itsu. There are a lot of workers, shoppers, students and tourists in the city who want delicious, affordable and healthy food that they can get quickly." 

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Venues

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