|Genre||Japanese restaurant + noodle bar|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
In June 2005, the restaurant's owner Graphite Capital sold the majority stake of 77.5% to Lion Capital LLP for £103 million. In April 2011, the chain was sold to Duke Street Capital, for an estimated sum of £215 million. As of November 2018, the chain includes over 190 restaurants, with 130 being in the United Kingdom. The chain, which had been performing well in the difficult UK restaurant market, was acquired for £559m by the Restaurant Group, owner of Frankie & Benny's, Garfunkels, and other well-known fast-casual dining chains in October 2018.
Other restaurants are located in Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UAE, and the United States. Wagamama has released two cookbooks in order to further extend its brand. The first site on Streatham Street, Bloomsbury, London closed permanently on 19 June 2016.
The word wagamama (わがまま) is Japanese for "self-indulgent", "self-centered", "disobedient" or "wilful" and is most often translated by the brand as "naughty child". Wagamama brands itself as following the process of kaizen.
In November 2015, the chain was named by the Marine Conservation Society as one of seven restaurants surveyed that failed to meet a basic level of sustainability in its seafood. However, this was later retracted, as Wagamama revealed more information about the origin of its seafood.
In December 2017, the chain was forced to apologise after it was revealed some of their workers were warned they would face disciplinary action for calling in sick over Christmas. The manager of their North Finchley branch had asserted it was the responsibility of staff members, according to their contracts and handbook, to find somebody to cover their shifts. Wagamama claimed this was an isolated incident, and that it was not part of its employment policy.
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- "Translation of wagamama". Google translate. Google. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
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- Smithers, Rebecca (18 November 2015). "More than half of UK's family restaurant chains serving unsustainable seafood" – via The Guardian.
- "Wagamama open up and jump up the ratings - Fish2Fork".
- "Wagamama apology for 'don't be sick' staff notice". BBC News. 24 December 2017.