From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IndustryFast casual restaurant
FounderJulian Metcalfe
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
Key people
Clive Schlee
Number of employees
852 (2020)[2]

itsu is a British chain of East Asian-inspired fast food shops and restaurants and a grocery company.[3] The company offers franchises.[4]


The chain was founded by Julian Metcalfe, co-founder of sandwich chain Pret a Manger, in partnership with Clive Schlee.[5]

In 2006, following the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, traces of the deadly isotope Polonium-210 were found at the Piccadilly branch of Itsu in London, where Litvinenko had dined on the day he was poisoned.[6][7]

Outlets and expansion[edit]

itsu, Commercial Street, Leeds

The first itsu restaurant opened in Chelsea, London in 1997. In September 2013, itsu opened its first restaurant outside London, in Oxford.[8]

In January 2016, itsu opened its first Northern England restaurant, in Spinningfields, central Manchester.[9] The chain later opened a branch in Leeds.

As of 2022 itsu had 76 restaurants in England, including 54 in London (44 in February 2023), and one in Brussels Airport, Belgium.[10]

In June 2018, the company opened a branch in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, US.[11] In February 2023 itsu's Web site listed Brussels and Paris as the only non-UK locations; the US Web page was dead.

itsu [grocery][edit]

In March 2012, Metcalfe's Food Company, run by Robert Jakobi, launched the itsu brand into retail[12] under the name itsu [grocery].


In January 2014, itsu became the official partner of the Volleyball England Beach Tour,[13] but was not listed on the UKBT Web site as of 2021.[14]


  1. ^ "itsu story". itsu. Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Annual report and financial statements for the period ended 31 December 2020" (PDF). Companies House. itsu Limited. 4 March 2022. p. 34. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  3. ^ Moules, Jonathan. "itsu founder nurtures a new generation" Archived 25 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Financial Times, London, 21 January 2014. Retrieved on 21 January 2014.
  4. ^ "franchising". itsu. 5 April 2022. Archived from the original on 26 February 2023. Retrieved 26 February 2023.
  5. ^ Smithers, Rebecca (8 October 2010). "Pret A Manger chief is stacking up healthy profits in lean times". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  6. ^ Harding, Luke (6 March 2016). "Alexander Litvinenko and the most radioactive towel in history". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  7. ^ Milmo, Cahal; Osborn, Andrew (8 December 2006). "Litvinenko's associate 'in a coma' as spy murder mystery deepens". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 8 January 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  8. ^ "£1m itsu restaurant to open in Oxford". Oxford Mail. 5 September 2013. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  9. ^ Shelina Begum (10 December 2015). "itsu picks Spinningfields for Manchester opening". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  10. ^ "itsu locations". itsu. Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  11. ^ Dai, Serena (4 June 2018). "Pret Founder's Asian Grab-and-Go Chain itsu Just Dropped Into Midtown". Eater. Archived from the original on 17 May 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  12. ^ Vince Bamford, "itsu to target retailers with new Asian snacks" Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine The Grocer, June 2011
  13. ^ Charlotte Edwardes, "Mr itsu: Julian Metcalfe on beautiful lean cuisine, why he loves London's hard-working immigrants and his noisy troupe of children and steps Archived 30 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine, "London Evening Standard", 3 February 2014
  14. ^ "UKBT Partners". UK Beach Tour. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2023.

External links[edit]