Wagamama kicks off reopening plan this Thursday

Wagamama has today announced a major plan to reopen up to 67 nationwide delivery sites by the end of June as the UK starts to get back to work.

Following successful trials of delivery in London and Leeds the pan asian restaurant will this week accelerate its delivery plan of action.

From this Thursday (21 May ) 24 sites will reopen and the following Thursday (28 May) will see a further 20 get back to work delivering wagamama’s delicious dishes including the nation’s favourite katsu curry. The plan is that by the start of June there will be 49 delivery sites and by the end up to 67.

During the first week the sites will be open Thursday – Sunday and thereafter Wednesday – Sunday (with the exception of Kensington and Peckham which are trialling a 7-day operation). The scheduled hours of opening will be 4pm to 9.30pm.

wagamama reopened their delivery kitchens at the end of last month (April 27) as a first wave trial and the company managed to successfully implement a safe working environment.

The latest move will mean that by the end of June it is hoped that wagamama will be operating approximately half of its sites through delivery and take-out resulting in a positive boost to getting Britain working again.

Closely following government and expert medical advice, the pan-asian restaurant has devised the schedule of re-opening new sites that will allow staff to slowly return to delivery-only work at their own discretion. The phased re-opening of additional sites will still form a test and learn approach for the business.

The first wagamama delivery kitchen sites to reopen were in Peckham, Hackney, Bow and Leeds. As part of the launch the team at Peckham produced one thousand meals for frontline NHS workers; an initiative wagamama and their delivery partner Deliveroo will continue to support with selected sites delivering up to 500 NHS meals a week.

CEO Emma Woods said, “Over the past couple of months our focus has been on creating a safe working environment for our team members and our two-week trial has enabled our teams to return to work safely.

'The next logical step for us is to open additional sites throughout the UK, this will still very much form a test and learn approach for the business. The response of our return has been extremely positive and we look forward to our guests being able to get their wagamama fix.”

Since the introduction of lockdown and tightened restrictions to combat COVID-19, the nation’s households turned to home cooking. In response to this wagamama launched wok from home – a simple home cookery guide created to help nourish the nation during the coronavirus. The series has had phenomenal success in the last month and been picked up by Facebook and reported on by the media around the world.

Woods added, “Since lockdown we launched our wok from home series where we saw the UK population cooking some of wagamama’s most beloved dishes. The series has had phenomenal success, already obtaining over 2 million views in the past six weeks. It’s brought a lot of joy to a lot of people and this is something that we will continue to evolve as we endure to create a sense of community through our food, even during these unprecedented times.”

In accordance with strict government guidelines wagamama has put together a comprehensive policy to ensure the safety of all.

Dr Kate Bunyan, who has helped wagamama formulate a safe working protocol, explained, “I have been working with wagamama over the last few weeks to introduce new safety protocols, so their teams can feel safe, whilst providing the important service of food preparation for delivery. These now include the mandatory use of health questionnaires before every shift, no contact with delivery riders and increased frequency of hygiene regimes.

“In a team environment like this it is vital that each team member is vigilant about any deterioration in their health, and that they do not come into work if they feel unwell in any way.'