Itsu launches first franchise site

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Itsu launches first franchise site, in Reading

Related tags: Itsu, Julian Metcalfe, Reading berkshire

Itsu has chosen Berkshire’s Reading Gate Retail Park as the location for its first franchise site.

Opening on 9 August, the 2,970 sq ft restaurant will be operated by Heart with Smart, which according to Itsu “bring a wealth of experience in franchising and have demonstrated a real passion for the itsu brand”. 

Seating 160 customers, the new site will operate with ‘extended opening hours’, offering an evening menu. It will also feature order and pay screens, with card only payments, enabling customers to place their orders in under 40 seconds and customise their dishes. 

“The contemporary design of the new restaurant complements the healthy and moreish Asian-inspired dishes,” says Itsu founder Julian Metcalfe. “Diners can enjoy a copious range of healthy options, with the kitchen relying on pressure cooking and steaming, to tantalise the taste buds.”

Itsu recently signed an agreement with Savvi Dining Group Limited to open its  second franchise restaurant in the UK, at Leicester’s Fosse Park.  The new restaurant, scheduled to open in late September 2021, will be located at Food Central, the recently completed £168 million expansion to the shopping and leisure destination.  

Itsu currently operates circa 70 company-owned sites in the UK.

“Located just off the M4 and a short trip from the city centre and football stadium, Reading Gate Retail Park is the perfect location for Itsu to engage a new audience that is looking for affordable dining,” adds Itsu CEO Ganan Kanagathurai. 

“Reading’s population is growing rapidly and the new Queen Elizabeth Line that will further connect Reading to London promises to see this growth continue still further. We are very excited to be expanding Itsu’s presence in Reading and demonstrating to the local community what eating beautiful looks like.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Casual Dining

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