Noodle-bar chain Wagamama made its debut in the USA yesterday with the opening of a restaurant in Boston.
The company, which operates 48 restaurants in the UK and 27 restaurants in international locations, opened in the city's historic Faneuil Hall, which is often likened to London's Covent Garden.
The restaurant has 183 covers, 133 of which are indoor with a further 50 al fresco dining covers in its 4,600sq ft location.
The Boston opening, the first of a number of outlets planned in the USA, marks an evolution of the group's strategy. Previous expansion outside the UK has been via franchise agreements, whereas the Boston restaurant will be fully owned and operated by Wagamama.
The group plans to implement a "cluster" approach to its new openings in the USA and is targeting sites in other locations on the east coast of the country, starting with a 132-cover site in Cambridge, Massachusetts this summer.
Steve Hill, chief executive of Wagamama, said: "We are very excited about our launch in the USA which is a significant milestone in our development.
"We've been working toward our US debut for two years and we look forward to progressing our plans to expand throughout the East Coast over the coming months."
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Wagamama opens first US restaurant) here.