Japanese noodle and tempura restaurant chain Marugame Udon has announced it will launch in London early next year as part of a new joint venture between Toridoll and Capdesia Group with the ambition to grow to 6,000 restaurants worldwide.
Marugame Udon, which has over 800 restaurants in Japan and 250 across Asia, the USA and Russia, has confirmed that London will be its first site in Europe.
The location of the new London restaurant has yet to be confirmed but the company has said it is part of an "ambitious roll-out plan" involving a combination of both owned and franchise operations in the UK and Europe, working in partnership with local multi-unit/brand operators.
Marugame Udon (Europe) will become the master franchisee for the region and the new London restaurant and the new company will be headed by restaurant and hospitality industry executive Keith Bird, who is one of Capdesia's operating partners.
Takaya Awata, founder and president of Toridoll said: "I'm delighted to work with Capdesia by setting up our joint venture company in the UK. We are looking forward to bringing Marugame Udon to Europe and for people in Europe to enjoy our udon noodles and tempura."
He added that the company had plans to develop the Marugame Udon brand across Europe and anticipated the relationship with private equity firm Capdesia would be "a stepping stone for the development of other Toridoll brands".
Bird said: "We feel the market is now ready to embrace a more authentic and specialised offer but at a very affordable price point - essentially a fast-casual offer, in terms of quality of food and experience, but closer to QSR prices."
Toridoll Holdings Corporation was founded by Takaya Awata in Kakogawa, Japan, in 1985. The company has annual system revenues of £1.2b and a portfolio of over 1,700 restaurants across 30 brands and 40 countries including Shoryu and Wok to Walk in Europe.