These was the scene last week when Marugame Udon opened its doors in London.
Japanese people certainly know how to queue and so do Brits!
Marugame Udon is a j/v between Toridoll (the Japanese parent company) and Capdesia a UK entity.
There are relatively few Udon restaurants in the UK today, Sushi is far more popular. However, Marugame is not the first Udon-ya, that honour goes to Kineya Mugimaru which opened last year.
It’s not Marugame’s first venture overseas either, the company operates restaurants in Russia, the US, Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia and even Cambodia. London is the chain’s first port of call in Western Europe.
I particularly like Marugame Udon’s UK website, they clearly have made a big effort to educate consumers about Udon in simple, but mouthwatering terms.
I don’t think the site loses any Japanese authenticity either. That’s not easy when you have to write everything in English.
Marugame could become an interesting case study in how to grow ethnic food penetration.
Incidentally Toridoll’s share price is up over 50% year on year.