YO! is a conveyor belt restaurant serving Japanese street food and sushi, with locations across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
Founded in 1997, YO! opened in Poland Street, Soho, and an icon was born. Genuine disruption hit town. London got a splash of colour, a dollop of fresh thinking, and a taste of Tokyo living. A second restaurant soon followed in Harvey Nichols, London and the rest is history.
YO! is now a global brand with close to 100 restaurants operating across 8 countries: most are located in the UK, with around 20 restaurants franchised overseas in France, Denmark, UAE (Dubai), KSA and Australia.
The current owner is Mayfair Equity Partners. YO!’s CEO is Richard Hodgson, who has been CEO since 2017.
YO! specialises in delivering Japanese street food and sushi to guests via a 'kaiten' conveyor belt. Every day, dishes are hand crafted by chefs, made with passion, from the freshest ingredients, with impeccable sustainability credentials via small plates, which are price/coloured coded.
With restaurants in UK from Aberdeen to Plymouth, YO! is a nationally loved brand. The range is wide with from sashimi, using impeccably sourced salmon, tuna, albacore and cod to a wide range of sushi. YO! has a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes (PETA Award for Best Vegan Dish 2016). Classic Japanese street food includes Takoyaki (deep fried octopus balls), Yakisoba and of course the number one best seller, Chicken Katsu Curry.
YO! opened its first restaurant in Dubai in 2004 and has continued to grow the brand internationally with restaurants in iconic locations such as Dubai Mall beneath the Burj Kalhlifa.
Since 2017, YO! has been busy creating a global multi-channel, multi format Japanese food platform, that can meet the growing demand for sushi via restaurants, kiosks and supermarkets.
In November 2017, YO! acquired Toronto-based Bento Sushi. Bento, founded in Toronto in 1996 is the second-largest sushi brand in North America, and the largest in Canada trading from more than 600 locations, while supplying sushi to a further 1,700 partner sites. Bento operates across a range of formats which complement YO!’s existing proposition. These include quick-service restaurants, on-site kiosks in supermarkets and other foodservice locations, and a number of production facilities that supply sushi to grocery and institutional foodservice clients across North America.
In April 2018 YO! acquired Taiko Foods. Founded in 1997, West London-based Taiko was the first manufacturer of sushi for the UK supermarket industry, and currently supplies Waitrose, David Lloyd and Sainburys amongst others.
In June 2019 YO! agreed a merger with SnowFox, one of the largest operators and franchise owners of sushi kiosks in the United States.
SnowFox, founded in 2005 and a wholly owned subsidiary of JFE Franchising, is the third largest sushi kiosk business in the United States, managing nearly 700 full-service sushi bars in supermarket, wholesale, university and corporate settings across 30 U.S. states.
The expanded YO! Group partners with leading retailers across North America and the UK, including; Kroger, Loblaw’s, Walmart, Sobey’s, Waitrose, Sam’s Club and Tesco, as well as operating 1,400 kiosks, seven factories and well over 100 restaurants.
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