Itsu to double estate with 100 new sites & 1,000 jobs

Asian-inspired fast food chain, Itsu is planning to more than double the size of its sushi chain with 100 new outlets over the next five years.

The expansion of 50 new branches in the UK will create around 1,000 jobs, the other 50-plus sites will be abroad.

Owner Julian Metcalf predicted that his expansion plan will increase the chain’s sales from £152m next year to £500m by 2025.

Metcalfe co-founded Pret A Manger in 1986 with Sinclair Beecham. He sold his remaining stake in Pret when German investment firm, JAB Holding bought the company from private equity firm Bridgepoint for £1.53bn in May last year.

Metcalf said, ‘I want Itsu to be bigger, better, sharper and more confident than Pret A Manger.'

Itsu’s grocery division, which was launched four years ago, appears to be key to the group's bold revenue targets.

The division turned over about £17m this year, after selling 53 million gyozas, and supplies about 50 products to 35,000 shops including Whole Foods, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda.