Japanese food has fully established itself in the Western diet, and proof of this is the number of sushi restaurants that abound in large cities. Precisely for this reason it is not easy to gain a foothold in this gastronomic niche, exactly what the Umai group, parent of the Robata and Monster Sushi brands, has achieved. After a process of accelerated growth in the last two years, the company now has seven of its own establishments between Barcelona (five) and Madrid (two), with which it will have a turnover of 12.5 million euros in 2023.

The forecast is to increase revenues to 15 million this year, for which the two new restaurants that will be incorporated soon will play a fundamental role, explains Marc Conte, CEO of the group. These are star establishments, one of which will be located in the Time Out Market, the gastronomic market that is finalizing its opening in the Maremàgnum and which represents one of the great efforts to reconvert the port area. “It will operate under the Monster Sushi brand and will be active during the summer, just for the great activity expected with the celebration of the America’s Cup,” explains Conte.

The other restaurant on which they are supporting their growth, also with Monster Sushi, will be located in the upper area of ​​the Catalan capital, where they have managed to gain a large pool of customers. “We will open in the fall, in a large two-level location that will include delivery” where a Foster’s Hollywood previously was located, says the manager.

Madrid also remains a city where it can continue its expansion in the future, although there are no inaugurations planned in the short term. “We want to consolidate our offer,” emphasizes the CEO. In the Spanish capital they have a Monster Sushi restaurant and a Robata (with more traditional Japanese cuisine and a higher ticket price).

The restaurants were founded in 2010 by the couple of Venezuelan origin Fabiola Lairet and Ricardo Figuera – she, one of the few sushiwomen officially accredited by Japanese institutions. In 2020, the group changed hands in an operation led by the Workderbee and Carpathia Investments funds, after which the company Umai Group was created. They currently have a staff of 200 workers and a pool of chefs whom they personally train in traditional Japanese cuisine.