Kushikatsu Daruma plans Asian expansion

An iconic Japanese restaurant chain Kushikatsu Daruma has opened its first outlet outside its home market – and announced plans to enter three more Asian countries.

Kushikatsu Daruma opened its first restaurant in 1929 at the foot of Tsutenkaku, the famous landmark tower in Shin-Sekai, Osaka. Since then it has expanded to 13 restaurants in Japan and this month it opened its first overseas – in the Taipei of Zhongshan in Taiwan.

The restaurant was opened by G7 International, the overseas investment arm of G-7 Holdings following a licence agreement struck last June with Daruma International, a subsidiary of Ichimonkai, parent of Kushikatsu Daruma.

G7 has the rights to develop the brand overseas and says it is already in talks with Ichimonkai to open restaurants in Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Kushikatsu Daruma Zhongshan Chang’an Store, which opened on Tuesday, has a floor space of about 150 sqm and seats 60 people. It trades from 11.30am to 10pm daily.

Back in Japan, Kushikatsu Daruma has since become known in the Kansai area for good taste and affordable prices, with customers queuing at opening time every day. It specialises in cooking kushikatsu – skewered and grilled cutlets of meat, fish, vegetables and other ingredients.

The G-7 Group is a mega franchisee operating Autobacs, Business Supermarket and other franchise stores with about 250 stores in Japan and seven stores abroad.

“Taking advantage of the G7 Group’s accumulated management know-how and Kushikatsu Daruma priding itself on good taste in general… G7 International will proceed to open more restaurants in Southeast Asia,” the company said in a statement.

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