Featuring... itsu

Featuring... itsu

Itsu image


itsu was dreamt up in 1994 after an inspirational trip to Tokyo where every bento was a work of art. It turns out that beautiful fast food is serious business - did you know at least three noodle bars in Tokyo have won coveted Michelin stars? With a market for beautiful fast food in Japan, itsu’s founder wanted to bring this to the UK.

The first itsu shop was born in 1997 in Chelsea, followed by a site in Soho 3 years later and over 20 more over the next 20 years, across the globe, from New York to Paris.

itsu means ‘whenever’ in Japanese which reminds the company of what their customers expect: convenience, consistency, affordability, and Asian-inspired goodness.

The food

Not only is it fast and beautiful, itsu food is also healthy and affordable. Every item on their Asian inspired menu is steamed and never fried, with the majority of meals under 500 calories and packed with vitamins, fibre & protein! itsu is also 38% plant-based, 90% HFSS (high in fat, salt & sugar) compliant and most dishes cost around £5-7.

It’s essential for the brand that they have a kitchen within every store meaning that all dishes can be produced fresh on the spot, with responsibly sourced ingredients.

Going the extra mile

For loyal customers, they often give away free lunch if they are waiting more than 90 seconds and each evening also have a half-price sale to avoid food waste.

itsu pay their staff as much as they can afford, rather than how much they can get away with, and really invest in their staff, with most of their directors, managers & nearly all our team leaders starting, like their founder, on the shop floor, learning the detail, from the ground up. Their first training academy, a single room above the first itsu, has grown to incorporate digital training, multiple courses and thousands of How To guide illustrations celebrating best practice.

They are also doing their bit for the environment, with a dedicated sourcing team that travel across the world to find the most nutritious, vibrant and sustainable ingredients possible. itsu also have aluminium refill flasks, paper dipping pots, wooden cutlery, recyclable pots, foil lids, sporks and spoons for life plus loads more stuff they are working on.

Where can you visit?

With your help, we are proud to continue to support itsu with their guest experience. We have multiple visits available up and down the UK for eat-in visits for 1-2 adults with a reimbursement of up to £7.

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