Start a Sushi Restaurant

Bringing the Art of Sushi to the Business Table

shrimp dish on plate

Camera Icon Louis Hansel / Unsplash

Sushi Restaurant - Picture Yourself

Dive into the world of delicate flavors and artful presentations with your very own sushi restaurant! This culinary venture allows you to master the exquisite art of sushi-making and serve aesthetically pleasing and sumptuous rolls to a diverse range of food enthusiasts. As a sushi restaurant owner, you'll manage a team of sushi chefs and waitstaff, procure fresh, high-quality ingredients, and ultimately entertain the palates of your clientele with delectable Japanese cuisine. Just remember, sushi isn’t just food – it’s an experience, one that you'll be bringing to diners' plates and their memories!

Grab Your Business Website Name

Before you get caught up in the whirlwind of setting up your business, invest in a domain name. It's a small but significant step that lays the foundation for your brand and makes it easier for customers to find and trust you. Just like you wouldn't build a house without securing the land first, don't build a business without securing your domain name.


Your domain name is more than just a web address; it's an essential part of your brand identity. It's what people will type into their browsers to find you. Securing a domain name that closely aligns with your business name helps you present a unified and professional image right from the get-go.


Having a domain name adds an element of legitimacy to your business. When consumers see that you have a dedicated domain name rather than a generic one (e.g.,, they're more likely to trust you. It's akin to having a business card versus scribbling your contact info on a piece of paper.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Having your own domain name can benefit your SEO strategy. Search engines like Google give weightage to domain names when ranking websites. A domain name with keywords related to your business can help you rank higher in search results, thus bringing more eyeballs to your product or service.

Avoid Losing the Perfect Domain

Good domain names are like good real estate—they're in high demand and can get snapped up quickly. If you delay purchasing your domain name, you might find that someone else has grabbed it, and then you're either out of luck or need to negotiate to buy it at a much higher price.

Early Marketing

Once you have a domain name, you can start marketing your business—even before you launch. A "Coming Soon" page with an email capture can help you start building an audience. You can also set up professional email addresses (e.g.,, which can be used on business cards and in other preliminary marketing materials.


Owning your domain name gives you the flexibility to move your website to any hosting provider without losing your web address. It's like owning a piece of land where you can build, rebuild, or renovate your store as you please.


Compared to other startup costs, a domain name is relatively inexpensive. Yet, its value can be immense. For the cost of a few cups of coffee a year, you can secure a critical asset for your business.

Sushi Restaurant Quick Business Check

This a quick reality check to help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business concept before you dive in.

Sushi Restaurant Business Idea Analysis

Expected Percent Margin:

  • Gross Margin: 60-75% (typically food and beverage industry standard)
  • Net Profit Margin: 10-15% (restaurant industry standard)

Earnings Expectations:

  1. Daily Earnings: $1,000 - $2,500 (based on average plate prices and customer numbers)
  2. Weekly Earnings: $7,000 - $17,500
  3. Monthly Earnings: $30,000 - $75,000
  4. Annual Earnings: $360,000 - $900,000

Actions Needed to Hit These Numbers:

Product and Service Offering:
  • Menu: Diversified but specialized menu covering a range of sushi options.
  • Quality: Source high-quality, fresh ingredients.
Marketing and Customer Acquisition:
  • Promotions and Discounts: Offer special promotions during opening week and on special occasions.
  • Local Partnerships: Partner with local businesses and influencers for cross-promotion.
Restaurant Operations:
  • Location: Choose a high-foot-traffic location, easily accessible to both locals and tourists.
  • Hours of Operation: Recommended 11AM - 11PM; adjust based on local market and customer demand.
  • Kitchen: Employ experienced sushi chefs and kitchen staff for efficient operations.
  • Front of House: Hire service-focused staff and invest in regular training.
Financial Management:
  • Pricing Strategy: Competitive pricing based on the local market and cost of ingredients.
  • Inventory Management: Stock control to avoid food wastage and unnecessary expenses.

Always remember to consult a financial advisor or business expert for personalized advice. This blueprint is just a general guideline to give an idea about the intricacies of starting a sushi restaurant.

Step 1: Determine if Starting a Sushi Restaurant is the Right Business Endeavor

Breakdown of startup expenses

Starting a sushi restaurant requires a substantial investment of both time and money. Before taking the plunge, it is important to understand the costs associated with opening a sushi restaurant. These costs can include the cost of the building, the cost of equipment and supplies, the cost of hiring staff, and the cost of marketing. Depending on the size and scope of the restaurant, these costs can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is important to create a budget and stick to it.

Breakdown of ongoing expenses

In addition to the startup costs, there are also ongoing expenses associated with running a sushi restaurant. These expenses can include rent, utilities, food costs, staff wages, and marketing costs. It is important to understand these costs and create a budget that will allow the business to remain profitable. Additionally, it is important to plan for unexpected expenses and have a contingency plan in place.

Examples of ways to make money

There are several ways to make money in the sushi restaurant business. One way is to offer catering services. This can include delivering sushi to corporate events, weddings, and other special occasions. Another way to make money is to offer takeout and delivery services. This can include partnering with local delivery services or creating an online ordering system. Additionally, offering discounts and promotions can also help to drive sales. Finally, offering special events such as sushi-making classes or sushi-pairing dinners can help to draw in customers.

Step 2: Name the Business

Tips on how to come up with a name

Coming up with a name for your sushi restaurant can be a difficult task. It should be something that is memorable and reflects the type of cuisine you will be serving. Consider words that evoke the feeling of sushi, such as “sushi”, “seaweed”, “tuna”, “salmon”, “rice”, “nori”, “wasabi”, and “tempura”. You can also consider words that evoke the feeling of Japan, such as “Tokyo”, “Kyoto”, “Hiroshima”, and “Osaka”. Additionally, you can consider words that evoke the feeling of a restaurant, such as “dining”, “cuisine”, “kitchen”, and “table”. Finally, you can consider words that evoke the feeling of a sushi bar, such as “bar”, “sake”, “sashimi”, and “sushi rolls”.

Tips on how to register the business

Once you have come up with a name for your sushi restaurant, you will need to register your business. This will involve filing paperwork with your local government and paying any applicable fees. Additionally, you will need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You may also need to register with your state’s Department of Revenue and obtain a sales tax permit. Additionally, you may need to obtain a business license from your local government. Finally, you may need to obtain a food service license from your local health department.

Step 3: Secure Financing

Options for Securing Financing: Starting a sushi restaurant requires a significant amount of capital, and there are several options for securing financing. For instance, entrepreneurs can apply for a business loan from a bank, or they can look into venture capital or angel investor funding. Additionally, entrepreneurs may consider crowdfunding or applying for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to do research and find the best fit for the business.

Tips on How to Make a Successful Loan Application: When applying for a loan, it is important to have a well-thought-out business plan. This should include a detailed breakdown of startup costs, ongoing expenses, and potential revenue streams. Additionally, entrepreneurs should be prepared to provide personal financial information and a detailed explanation of how the loan will be used. It is also important to have a clear understanding of the loan terms and conditions and to be prepared to answer any questions the lender may have. Finally, entrepreneurs should be sure to check their credit score and take steps to improve it if necessary.

Step 4: Find a Location

Tips on how to find a suitable location

When looking for a suitable location for a sushi restaurant, it is important to consider the local demographics and the competition. It is important to find a location that is easily accessible and has enough foot traffic to attract customers. Additionally, it is important to consider the size of the restaurant and the type of equipment needed. For example, a larger restaurant may require more space for a kitchen and seating area. It is also important to consider the cost of the location, as this can have a major impact on the overall budget.

Tips on how to negotiate a lease

When negotiating a lease for a sushi restaurant, it is important to consider the terms of the lease, such as the length of the lease, the rent, and any additional fees. Additionally, it is important to consider the landlord’s expectations for the restaurant and any restrictions that may be in place. It is also important to understand the local laws and regulations that may affect the restaurant. Finally, it is important to consider the landlord’s willingness to negotiate and to be prepared to make a reasonable offer.

Step 5: Design the Restaurant

Tips on how to design the restaurant

The design of the restaurant is an important factor in the success of the business. It is important to create a space that is inviting and comfortable for customers. Consider the layout of the restaurant, the colors, the furniture, and the overall atmosphere. Think about how the restaurant will be laid out, what type of seating you will have, and what type of decorations you will use. Consider the lighting, the sound system, and the overall ambiance of the restaurant. Make sure that the design of the restaurant reflects the type of food you will be serving.

Tips on how to choose the right equipment

Choosing the right equipment for your restaurant is essential. Consider the type of food you will be serving and the size of the restaurant. Look for equipment that is efficient, reliable, and easy to use. Consider the space you have available and the type of equipment you will need. Research the different types of equipment available and compare prices. Make sure that the equipment is safe and up to code. Consider the maintenance and repair costs associated with the equipment. Invest in quality equipment that will last for years to come.

Step 6: Hire Employees

Tips on how to find the right employees

When looking for the right employees to hire for your sushi restaurant, it is important to look for individuals who have a passion for sushi and the restaurant industry. Look for candidates who have experience in the restaurant industry, as well as a strong knowledge of sushi. Additionally, look for individuals who are reliable and have a strong work ethic. It is also important to look for candidates who are team players and have excellent customer service skills.

Tips on how to create a job description

When creating job descriptions for your sushi restaurant, it is important to include a detailed description of the job duties and responsibilities. This should include the expected hours, pay rate, and any other expectations. Additionally, include a description of the skills and qualifications that are required for the position. Be sure to include any certifications or licenses that are necessary for the job. Finally, include a description of the company culture and values that you are looking for in potential employees.

Step 7: Obtain Licenses and Permits

List of Licenses and Permits Needed

Before opening a sushi restaurant, it is important to research the local laws and regulations to determine what licenses and permits are required. Depending on the location, the licenses and permits may include a business license, a food service license, a health inspection certificate, a liquor license, and a zoning permit. Additionally, a fire inspection may be required and a sign permit may be necessary if the restaurant will have an outdoor sign.

Tips on How to Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Permits

Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits can be a lengthy process, so it is important to start the process as soon as possible. The first step is to contact the local government to determine what licenses and permits are required. Once the list of licenses and permits is determined, the business owner can contact the appropriate agencies to apply for the necessary documents. It is also important to research the fees associated with each license and permit and to have the necessary funds available to pay for them. Additionally, the business owner should be prepared to provide any additional information that may be requested by the agencies.

Step 8: Market the Restaurant

Tips on how to create a marketing plan

Creating a marketing plan is an essential part of launching a successful sushi restaurant. It should include a detailed analysis of the target market, a competitive analysis, and a plan for how to reach the target market. Additionally, the plan should include a budget for marketing activities, such as advertising, public relations, and promotions. It is also important to consider the use of digital marketing, such as social media, email campaigns, and search engine optimization.

Tips on how to create a website

Having a website is a great way to market a sushi restaurant. It should include a description of the restaurant, the menu, contact information, and a way for customers to make reservations. Additionally, the website should include high-quality images of the restaurant and the food. It is also important to include a blog, which can be used to post updates about the restaurant, new menu items, and special events. Finally, the website should be optimized for search engines so that customers can easily find it.

Step 9: Open the Restaurant

Tips on how to prepare for the grand opening

Before opening the restaurant, it is important to make sure that all the necessary preparations have been made. This includes ensuring that all the necessary permits and licenses have been obtained, that the restaurant has been properly stocked with all the necessary supplies, and that the staff is properly trained and ready to go. Additionally, it is important to create a marketing plan for the grand opening, which should include advertising the restaurant in the local area, as well as online.

Tips on how to manage the restaurant

Once the restaurant is open, it is important to maintain a high level of customer service and quality. This includes ensuring that the staff is properly trained and is providing excellent customer service, that the food is of the highest quality, and that the restaurant is properly maintained and clean. Additionally, it is important to create a system for tracking customer feedback and responding to any complaints in a timely manner. It is also important to create a system for tracking sales and expenses, as well as creating a budget for the restaurant. Finally, it is important to create a system for tracking inventory and ordering supplies, as well as creating a schedule for staff and other tasks.