Itsu, the Japanese restaurant designed by Wolff Olins, has joined forces with leading Spanish retailer and restaurant company Grupo Sigla to open its first non-UK outlet in Madrid.
No additional designers have yet been appointed for the venue, which is due to open in six months time, though French designer Philippe Starck has been approached by the Spanish group. Wolff Olins’ original branding will also have to be implemented as part of the licensing agreement.
Itsu partner Clive Schlee describes Grupo Sigla as “the perfect partner” for Itsu because “they know both the restaurant business and Spain inside out”.
Grupo Sigla chief executive Placido Arango Jnr says: “Asian food is becoming more popular in Spain but no one has done it with the same style as Itsu or succeeded in making it this accessible.
“We believe that the Itsu concept is perfect for the Spanish market, where people prefer to eat raciones or tapas rather than one main dish.”
Plans to open further restaurants in London and Barcelona, as well as France and Canada, are being discussed with potential licensees in each country.
In addition to the identity by Wolff Olins, each new franchise will be provided a library of recipes and a conveyor management system.