Spotlight On: K10

maurice-abboudiK10 adopts the well-established conveyor belt format to serve its customers, serving over 80 different dishes at any one time at each of their three City based sites. Nigiri, maki, sushi rolls and sashimi are served in the traditional style and more contemporary varieties are prepared using soft shell crab, rock shrimp and eel. K10 has also been serving its take on Japanese / South American favourites such as tataki, tartare, ceviche and tiradito dishes for over 16 years. The hot food menu is extremely popular and includes a whole range of Japanese grilled, fried and steamed dishes. We interviewed Maurice Abboudi, Executive Director, to find out more…

What is your take on fast food on the go/casual dining and how does this impact K10?

The food on the go and casual dining market is seeing the fastest growth in the market. Our restaurants have a casual dining, food on the go and delivery element so we are in a great spot and are seeing double digit growth in mature locations which is extraordinary.

How did your team develop the menu and how long did this take?

Chris kemper, K10’s founder, developed the menu 15 years ago and it has evolved over the years with the help of our Head Chef, Kanthan.

What is your restaurants signature dish?

There are several – hot food would probably be the Chicken Karaage, the Chicken Katsu Curry and the Baby Chilli Squid. On the sushi / sashimi side we have the Yellowtail with Ponzu dressing, the beef tataki and seared tuna with miso.

Do you face any challenges when it comes to serving high quality food quickly?

Yes we do. We have up to 90 hungry people sitting down taking plates from the conveyor belt that holds 270 plates – so if everyone takes 3 plates, the belt is empty. Plus we have to produce fresh sushi for the takeaway section – which sells as much sushi as the restaurant – so the pressure is very intense at lunch times and we have to be super-efficient in our prep.

Which other outlets do you admire or take influence from?

You have to admire Pret – they are consistent, they move with the times and offer great service every time. I also admire Wagamama and GBK for getting back to basics and showing what a great result that brings.

Do you take food trends into account, if so, what?

We look at food trends but not food fads. Healthy is a trend. Cold pressed juices at £8 a pop I am not so sure…

How have you found it growing your delivery market, do you think this is something all businesses need to do to keep up?

Oh yes, absolutely. It is another channel to market and as long as the delivery operators don’t become too greedy and over charge on their commissions then delivery is a great income stream. In fact we employ our own drivers and have our own bikes so we take delivery very seriously.

We have seen the craft beer scene take off but now we are seeing craft gin & spirits appear. Do you think this trend will be as big as craft beer and can craft beer stand the test of time?

I think the craft spirit market is here to stay but its cyclical and more like a fashion item. First we had Vodka, now Gin. It is happening with Rum, Tequila and Whisky.

What’s unique about your establishment?

We aim to make the customer happy. A happy customer will come back. That means delicious fresh food. It means consistency. It means real hospitality, not just great service. It means spotlessly clean restaurants and it means great value for money.

What are the future plans for your business?

We have several sites in negotiation and a couple under offer. We see great opportunities for K10 under a variety of formats. I can’t say more other than watch this space…

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