Sushi spectacle draws crowd

In-store sushi bars have proved a hit with Woolworths customers since being introduced over the past six months under a part- nership with an international franchisor.

The grocery giant has so far provided space for the Sushi Izu outlets in 17 supermarkets across Perth as part of a national roll-out of the franchise.

Sushi is prepared within view of customers for takeaway sales through the checkouts.

"There's a bit of theatre around it," Woolworths State operations manager Brendon Lott said. "It's all freshly made on site and I think that's the most appealing part. If you're in some of the bigger stores like Subi and Floreat, there can be anything up to about 10 people behind the counter trying to prep."

The franchisor of Sushi Izu is California-based Advanced Fresh Concepts, which in North America supplies stores and has more than 3500 sushi bar franchises. Most operate in supermarkets.

Woolworths does not have a stake in AFC's Australian venture, instead taking a cut of Sushi Izu's turnover. The sushi chefs work for franchisees.

"The West Australian customers really like something new and innovative," Mr Lott said.

"We've actually got some of the better performing stores in Australia (for sushi)."

He said customers were a mix of grocery shoppers and office workers buying meals. The outlets were doing well in both the inner city and suburban shopping centres. More sushi bars would be set up in WA supermarkets after Easter.

Mr Lott said he would not be drawn into a debate over claims by at least one shopping centre sushi retailer that the Woolworths initiative was eroding rival businesses.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West