|Genre||Japanese restaurant + noodle bar|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Owners||Duke Street Capital|
Wagamama opened at a time when few people thought the restaurant sector was worth investing in, although the critical acclaim and commercial success the restaurant received soon changed that belief. The first restaurant in Bloomsbury was designed by Stiff and Trevillion Architects, who were subsequently involved in the design of 10 further restaurants. One of the partners of the architectural practice, Michael Stiff stated, "wagamama really pushed back the boundaries and rejuvenated what had become an extremely jaded industry. As well as being completely different from a design point of view, the prices of the meals were also significantly lower than those of other London restaurants at the time."
As of September 2014, the chain includes 140+ restaurants, with 110 being in the UK. Other restaurants are located in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Kuwait, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE and the United States.
The chain's website states "'wagamama' is japanese for ‘naughty child’ – or one who is wilful and determined.". The website also states that they aim to "offer a new kind of dining experience – one that offers fresh japanese-inspired food in a friendly, vibrant setting". The chain has released cookbooks in order to further extend their brand.
Wagamama has a number of features that have since been adopted by many restaurants. Orders are taken via PDAs, and wirelessly networked to the kitchen. Once orders are taken, food order numbers are written on customers' paper place mats and food is delivered to the table once cooked, which means dishes are not necessarily served at the same time. Customers sit on either side of large tables, seating as many as 16 people at one table.
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- The Caterer: Wagamama opens its 100th restaurant | The Caterer, accessdate: 02/09/2014
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