Celebrating Sushi Day: “local pioneers who jumped into delivery”
Healthy and with infinite possibilities, it is one of the most consumed dishes. The proof of this is the consistent increase of its consumption through Glovo as the total number of orders has tripled in the last five years. It was precisely back in 2016 when the first local partners specialised in sushi making began to join the platform, seeking new opportunities offered by the emerging trend of door to door delivery offered.
On the occasion of International Sushi Day, celebrated every year on 18 June, we took a closer look at the stories of some of the Glovo partners who delivered the first sushi orders through our Glovo app. Where did their passion for Asian cuisine come from, why did they decide to jump into delivery and how Glovo has accompanied them in these years are some of the reflections they shared with us.
Different backgrounds: “all roads lead to Rome”
Dazheng Zhou and Feifei Chen, each 49 years old, are the owners of Yoüme in Barcelona, Spain. Both came into contact with Asian cuisine at a very young age in China. While he worked in various restaurants and specialised as a chef, Feifei’s family owned several restaurants in the Asian country, a fact that made her an insider of the Asian food tradition.
“The pace of people’s lives is becoming increasingly frenetic, however, in this spiral, we believe that we have to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This was our idea from the beginning, we wanted to provide a quick way to reach people through a product that blends the healthy Asian tradition combined with the Mediterranean essence”, they say.
“I trained for more than 10 years in different Sushi restaurants both in Poland and abroad, in the UK, and Cyprus. Jan Walczak, from Poland, trained for many years before opening Yana Sushi in Kraków in 2012, one of the first Glovo Sushi destinations in the city.
Jan explains, “I wanted to create something that broke with the stereotypes of sushi bars perception as places for rich people and the upper classes, I wanted to create a restaurant for real people where they could taste something different from the typical dishes available on the market”.
On the left, Jan is surrounded by different sushi options and, on the right, a detail from one of the venues, all from Yana Sushi.
In the case of David Santín, a 38-year-old native of Bilbao, his passion for sushi came about as a love affair in Boston while he was studying for an MBA. A computer engineer by training, when he returned to Spain in 2014 he decided to set up Sushi Artist, “I wanted to offer a complete sushi service that did not exist at that time in Spain, with a modern image and an innovative takeaway concept”.
Asian essence with local taste
The founders of Ukve in Tbilisi, Georgia, following their career in the banking sector decided to enter the world of Asian food in 2015. “We wanted to offer a quality product that would be innovative for Georgians and that they could introduce into their everyday lives”.
So it happens that innovation, when presented with a new product or ingredients from a diverse cuisine, often translates into an exercise of adaptation towards flavours that give us greater control, and the satisfaction of knowing how to appreciate the trend.” In this sense, they add: “We started with dishes that were familiar to Georgians, such as philadelphia sushi options or California rolls, and then added some unusual variations, such as vegetarian and roasted sushi, which is more American”.
On the left, philadelphia sushi and, on the right, is the interior of one of its premises, all Ukve in Tbilisi, Georgia.
In Portugal, Sushi dos Sá Morais was one of the first partners to deliver sushi orders in Lisbon via Glovo back in 2017. For them, when it comes to sushi, “ the quality and being relentless in demanding it is key around this product and that’s why our menu was elaborated by a renowned Portuguese sushi chef who adapted it to western styles while staying faithful to the Japanese tradition and essence”.
Their specialities are edamame and Gunkan sake eggs. However, Jan from Yana Sushi in Poland, admits that he mostly enjoys preparing spicy sashimi rolls with tuna and lots of avocado. “Poles like intense flavours, they don’t enjoy monotony, and that’s why we created special decoctions for Thai coconut soups in order to achieve a balance between Thai flavours – which are extremely spicy- and European tastes. Ramen with beef sirloin is a great example”.
On the left, the interior of one of the venues and, on the right, one of their sushi plates, all from Sushi Dos Sá Morais.
A long journey travelled with delivery
In the beginning, for all of them, delivery appeared as a new option with the clear objective of generating greater awareness, increasing orders and reaching a larger number of consumers willing to enjoy sushi anywhere. David, from Sushi Artist, admits: “We had worked with other delivery companies before, and we loved Glovo because we didn’t have to rely on our own fleet of couriers, as at peak times it was impossible to meet all the demand for orders.
“It was then in 2016 that we placed our first order for Sushi in Malaga, Spain, at a time when we had only 4 premises in Spain and 12 employees. Now we have 16 venues and we have even made the leap to Portugal”, he comments.
David currently channels 30% of his total delivery orders through Glovo and has managed to increase his orders through the app by 170% in 2021.
On the left, kitchen sushi preparations at Sushi Artist, on the right, a Glovo order ready to be delivered from Sushi Dos Sá Morais.
In the story of Dazheng Zhou, Yoüme restaurant, Glovo has been with them since they opened their first store with 12-13 employees in the Spanish city, “we opted for Glovo because we shared the same philosophy and vision, and our business model, from the beginning, was designed around takeaway and delivery”. Since then they have added 9 more venues throughout Barcelona, counting approximately 100 employees and in 2021, they’ve increased their orders in the app by 50% compared to the previous year.
For Ukve, delivery was also part of its essence from the very beginning and when they made their first delivery to Glovo in 2018 they had four venues in Vake, Marjanishvili, Sololaki and Gldani, as well as a more exclusive location for takeaway and delivery. “We knew Glovo as one of the most famous delivery platforms in Georgia, with great technology behind it and many satisfied customers. This, along with the fact that delivery was something very new at the time in the country, being one of the first companies to be on the app and available throughout the city made it easier for us to connect with users”.
In 2021, Ukve in Georgia increased its orders on the app by more than 85%, while Jan, from Yana Sushi, increased them by more than 60%. For him, the key to sushi delivery lies in the fact that the orders arrive fresh, with high quality, and on-time”.