Watami entering US hotel restaurant market with Sonny Sushi acquisition

Sonny Sushi Owner Sann Ni (center)
Sonny Sushi Owner Sann Ni (center) | Photo courtesy of Sonny Sushi
2 Min

Tokyo, Japan-based food and beverage brand Watami is jumping into the U.S. hotel restaurant business with its acquisition of Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.-based Sonny Sushi, according to Nikkei Asia.

In its first entry into the U.S. market, Watami will buy wholesaler Sonny Sushi, which supplies sushi products to hotel and casino buffets, as well as packaged sushi to supermarkets, for USD 6 million (EUR 5.5 million).

Sonny Sushi generated sales of USD 5 million (EUR 4.6 million) in 2023. Watami will establish two local units that will take on Sonny Sushi's production facilities, brand, and employees. In the U.S., Watami plans to open a chain of yakiniku, or grilled meat, barbeque restaurants.

"Sonny has close ties with hotels, so I hope the deal will lead to the opening of restaurants in hotels," Watami Chief Financial Officer Masaya Watanabe said.

Sonny Sushi did not respond to SeafoodSource’s request for comment.

Sonny Sushi Owner Sann Ni founded the company in 2000 in order to “meet the demands of fresh sushi in this desert Las Vegas region.”

“Our broad array of different kinds of fresh sushi are hand-made everyday with the freshest and best ingredients by our top sushi chefs to fulfill cravings for sushi by both our locals with dynamic lifestyles and tourists from around the world with diverse tastes,” Ni said.

This move follows Watami's 2023 acquisition of an 80 percent stake in Singapore-based Leader Food, which includes Premium Seafood Supplies and Leader Food Industries.

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