Wagamama have announced that their parent company, The Restaurant Group, intend to launch a grab and go style spin-off of the Japanese eatery later this year. The concept, due to be branded as Mamago, will offer a new menu based around the concept of convenience.
TRG are intending to kick off the project with an initial pilot, which has ben scheduled to launch in the second half of 2019 – as revealed in the financial results that were released recently.
A spokesperson is calling Mamago “a newly developed Asian menu to capitalise on increased customer demand for convenience”, and could well see it sitting alongside other grab and go Japanese-style brands such as Yo! Sushi and Wasabi.
The push to launch a new facet to the brand comes no doubt as a result of the injection of fresh ideas after Wagamama was purchased by TRG at the end of 2019. TRG also owns other chains such as Garfunkel’s, Frankie & Benny’s, and Chiquito’s.
They also have more big plans on the way – they are planning to open at least three or four new branches of Wagamama this year, and TRG also wants to convert eight existing sites to the brand so that they can add more coverage quickly. These sites will likely all need new employees, so make sure that you keep an eye out for new job listings.
Further plans include extending the vegan menu – sure to be a hit with the growing number of vegan and vegetarian diners in the UK – and rolling out more delivery-only Wagamama kitchens to capitalise on the success of delivery services such as Deliveroo.
Early results from the purchase look good for the group. They have announced that Wagamama’s like-for-life sales rose by 9.1% in the 12 weeks leading up to the 3rd of February 2019. The decision to go for more delivery-only sites was also clearly triggered by recent success, with Deliveroo Editions trialled in Battersea in London.
They have also won the tender for a site to opened in Heathrow Terminal 3, which will launch in the second half of 2019 – clearly set to be an exciting time for Wagamama.
The planned redevelopment of Manchester airport will be launching in the first half of 2020, and Wagamama also have a stake in that location. They will be opening a site there as soon as everything is fully operational.
If, like TRG, you have a lot of new opportunities about to open up and you want help with finding the right people for these roles, make sure that you take a look at our employer section. We can help you to match the right talent to the roles you need them to fill.
They are clearly not done yet, and have plenty more exciting plans of what they are going to do with the brand. TRG have stated that they are “exploring a variety of other airport opportunities”, which could mean that you can grab some Japanese cuisine in just about every airport in the UK by the time they are finished. It won’t take much more for them to have a whole suit of options available.
Japanese cuisine has seen more of a resurgence this year as a happy result of the fact that it is easily adaptable to the vegan and vegetarian diets. Traditional dishes often employ tofu in place of meat alternatives, which makes them easier to position for the burgeoning market of green eaters. This is sure to help Wagamama grow their sales as they look towards the future.