5 Design Tips and Tricks for a Successful Sushi Restaurant

The type of food that we call “sushi” includes several distinct dishes whereas the term Makizushi literally means “rolled sushi” and is the type we customarily think of in the western world. In terms of opening a sushi restaurant, having a dedicated and knowledgeable real estate team looking out for your best interests could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. With that being said, here are some essential best practices in order to be successful at designing a Japanese cuisine restaurant.

First off, picking a location for your sushi restaurant is key. The market for sushi seemingly is no longer limited to urban settings. However, sushi seems to be thriving especially in centers heavily concentrated towards working professionals. Finding out not only who you will be targeting, but also the startup and ongoing costs as well, are vital with the process.

Hiring a chef and deciding on a menu is crucial as well. Conventionally, a chef-in-training will spend as long as five years just preparing rice and performing simple prep tasks. Sushi chefs depend on highly specialized cutlery in order to perform accurate tasks to make world-class sushi. Generally, these are traditional Japanese knives known as the “deba” and “sashimi” knives that are each made specifically for preparing fish. A diverse sushi menu that includes a variety of options will allow customers to want to keep coming back perhaps to try new things on the menu and/or continue to indulge in their favorite sushi. Additionally, the FDA does offer recommendations for handling fish that will be served raw, including freezing the fish to -4 degrees F for 7 days or -31 degrees F for 15 hours to ensure that parasites have been destroyed.

Lastly, besides obtaining general business licenses, you will be accountable for getting several food-specific permits and licenses. Additionally, this includes registering with the Department of Health where you will likely be required to obtain a food handler’s license along with getting the separate approval of your state’s ABC board if wanting to serve liquor. More so, establishing a solid business plan as the one depicted here will ultimately maximize your chances at effectively and profitably opening up top notch Japanese cuisine.

Our Top 5 Design Tips:

  • Adding Style with Minimalist Shelving
    • This adds style and functionality by creating a decorative element
  • Showcase Local Art
    • Showcasing a local Japanese artist not only adds depth and color to your walls, but also supports other local businesses in your community
  • Feature Natural Greenery
    • Keep your restaurant fresh and vibrant by adding plants and rotating the locations of your greenery throughout the space of the restaurant
  • Inspired Lighting Fixtures
    • Lighting is one of the most crucial aspects in restaurant design- it sets the overall tone/mood and is the foundation of the customer experience
  • Providing Adequate Options for Seating
    • One of the reasons why restaurants succeed is by the feeling they give their customers due to the layout. It is important to plan to have enough seating to be profitable, but also to consider your customer’s comfort. As you create your layout, sit in every seat to see which way the chairs are looking in order to make sure the overall layout flows nicely- making it the best customer experience!
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