Nifty Fridges for Nifty Kitchens
Precision’s slim line counters solve Yo! Sushi’s refrigeration problem at flagship site.
Founded in London in 1997, Yo! Sushi is the original sushi brand in the UK and is still delivering a fun, exciting eating experience with a slice of urban Tokyo. Dishes are freshly prepared daily (by chefs the brand describes as “nifty kitchen ninjas”), and while sushi is at the heart of the concept, diners can choose from over 80 Japanese inspired items. These include soups, rice or noodle-based dishes, salads, tempura and even hot classics like chicken katsu curry, salmon teriyaki or yakisoba noodles. There are now over 60 restaurants worldwide and the brand continues to set the pace.
So when Yo! Sushi opened its new flagship restaurant in Market Place, just off London’s Oxford Street, it was always going to be different. The refit took about twice as long as usual and cost about twice what the company normally spends. The front of house is a whole new concept, including lowered seating areas and the kitchen sited to one side of the conveyor, instead of being surrounded by it.
Things are different inside the kitchen, too. Fresh prep and ingredients calls for totally reliable refrigeration and at the Market Place site Yo! Sushi found they had a problem. The galley-style shape of the kitchen area meant that the traditional refrigerated prep counters their chefs rely on elsewhere were out of the question – they were too big to fit.
Steve Hammond of design consultants PHCC explains: “We’ve installed over thirty kitchens for Yo! Sushi over the past three years, all having their own design issues. But this was a tough one. If you put normal counter fridges in the Market Place site there would be no room for the chefs! That’s why we decided to go with Precision’s Counter 520 Series. Instead of being the usual 600 or 750mm deep, they’re only 520mm, which was perfect.”
‘The most flexible refrigeration solutions’ Precision says its 520 Series is typical of its philosophy of offering the most flexible refrigeration solutions. The 520 is a compact alternative to traditional counter fridges but still accepts standard gastronorm shelves and trays, either 2 x 1/3 or 1 x 2/3. It is available in 2, 3 and 4 door versions, or each door can be replaced by drawers, in banks of two or three. Stainless steel construction ensures long life and easy hygiene while the host of options, including pass-through, means it can be tailored to any site. The 'Easy Breathing' condensing unit draws and vents through the front panel, so Series 520 counters need little space to the side and back and can be fitted into very tight spaces.
“As far as I know, Precision is the only quality manufacturer that builds this size of counter,” says Steve Hammond. “Yo! Sushi has an established kitchen design and switching the brand of a key component like refrigeration is a major decision. In the event, Precision did a great job. So much so that the company won the contract to supply the rest of the kitchen refrigeration, too, including standard 1/1 gastronorm counters, small 150 litre under counter units and large upright gastronorm cabinets.”
Robin Rowland is CEO of Yo! Sushi. “We’re dealing with fresh, raw ingredients and food quality is paramount, that’s why we invest in quality refrigeration,” he says. “We had a big problem at Market Place and Precision gave us a solution that works brilliantly.”
Steve Hammond adds: “The counters are everything we wanted them to be. They look great, they work well and the chefs love them. We don’t ask for more than that!”