Wasabi insures itself against central kitchen blackout

Wasabi, Birmingham New Street station

Sushi chain Wasabi has insurance protection to cover itself in the event of its central production kitchen (CPU) going down and limiting its ability to supply its stores.  

The company’s business model is based on a central kitchen manufacturing hot ingredients for bento and preparing fish for sushi products, both of which are delivered to its 50 branch kitchens where they are combined with other products to assemble the final product.

In the strategic report accompanying its latest financial accounts, Wasabi revealed the need to have suitable protection in place to meet product availability should disaster strike.

“The company could be adversely affected by the central kitchen being unable to provide the necessary products. Appropriate insurance protection is purchased to cover the loss of gross profit and reinstatement costs while the company identifies a suitable site to constrict a replacement facility or alternative sourcing such as outsourcing.”

Some branch kitchens could also be used to supply other branches if required, it added.

Incidentally, the chain is in the process of launching a new CPU that is designed to provide cost efficiencies and ensure sustained quality in its bento range.

Wasabi registered a 21% increase in sales to £88.2m last year, with EBITDA up 7% to £5.1m. Profitability was helped by the fact that it opened fewer branches than previous years and therefore incurred smaller fit-out costs, as well as a review of its price structures.

The company said it has plans to open branches in the UK and New York during 2017 and remains “confident” that these will be successful and that it is able to improve the level of performance of its existing portfolio at the same time.

Funding for these developments comprise a mix of internally generated cash and available loan facilities.

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