Extending The Nobu Brand

By Richard Notar
Managing Partner, Nobu

Whenever we consider opening a Nobu restaurant, we take into consideration a few factors.


We need to be able to get great product, the type of fish quality we use has to be accessible.

Labor is a major issue as well, we need to be able to source "Nobu style" employees as well as sushi chefs.

We are fortunate to have a following and a great majority of our customers are world travelers, we feel there is a circle of international hubs whether for business or pleasure that make sense for a Nobu brand restaurant. Familiarity of our restaurant name and reputation gives it instant attention.

Consistency and reliability are other factors I mention when speaking of Nobu.

Whenever we open a restaurant we fill all the key roles with staff that has been working with us in the past. Every restaurant we have, now 17 with Dubai and Moscow opening in September and October, has a manager that started with me as a waiter or Matre D'. I'm very proud of that fact , it adds to our consistency and when hiring within, it gives a sense that you can elevate yourself within the company. I have very low turnover for a restaurant company.

When we build a Nobu restaurant these days, we always factor in a substantial barlounge area. If your always booked every time someone calls, they stop calling because they believe they can never score a table unless they "know someone". What that will do is stop the flow of foot traffic to the restaurant and when you get the eventual no show or cancellation, you'll be left with open tables. This is what I call being a victim of your own success.

Not everyone knows where they want to eat when they wake up and I feel we need to have an area for the spontaneous diner.

It also covers different demographics. The "walk in" lounge customer is usually youth driven and likes more of a "scene" which plays out well for us in the lounge having been set with Music and candles.

- Richard