Sushi chain saved by takeaway boom

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Alex Sushi dampened the effects of the pandemic.

Alex Sushi, like many other restaurants, had to stay closed for much of last year. This, combined with social distancing rules, halved guest capacity.

The business is divided into two separate companies, the restaurant Alex Sushi and the takeaway service Alex Sushi Service, owned by Alex Sushi Holding, which in turn has salmon farmer Nova Sea and Thema Eiendom as its two largest owners.

Photo: Alex Sushi

The exclusive restaurant at Solli Plass in Oslo, Norway, last year had a turnover decrease from NOK 24.5 million (EUR 2.4 million) to NOK 15.2 million (EUR 1.5 million), with a loss of NOK 1 million (EUR 0.1 million).

Contrasts
“It was a year marked by great contrasts, and as a group we were in the split. While we had a strong focus on cost cutting in restaurant operations, we did everything to maximize takeaway sales when that demand picked up,” said Thea Cecilie Sandberg, CEO of Alex Sushi Holding to Finansavisen.

The takeaway company made a profit of NOK 2.8 million (EUR 0.3 million). Many employees, especially chefs, were relocated there from restaurant operations. This meant that large parts of the staff were still working during the pandemic.

Progress
“We had a demand we have never seen before, much caused by large orders from companies,” said Sandberg.

The high level of activity has continued into 2021.

“One might think that when society and restaurant operations reopened, takeaway demand would fall back to normal levels. It has not happened. Turnover has remained high this year,” said Sandberg to Finansavisen.

Photo: Alex Sushi