Itsu is a British chain of East Asian-inspired fast food shops and restaurants, and a grocery company.[2]

TypePrivate Limited
FounderJulian Metcalfe
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
Key people
Clive Schlee

The chain was founded by Julian Metcalfe, co-founder of sandwich chain Pret a Manger and founder of Metcalfe's Food Company, in partnership with Clive Schlee.[3] The first Itsu store opened in Chelsea, London in 1997. As of November 2016 Itsu has 70 stores throughout England.[4] In 2018, Itsu had more than 90 stores in England, including 50 in London.

Itsu has reported financial data as follows:

  • The chain serves over nine million customers per year;
  • Customers spend around £55 million in Itsu shops and restaurants;[5]
  • Consecutive yearly sales increases of 30%.[6]

Outlets and expansionEdit

Itsu, Commercial Street, Leeds

In April 2013, Itsu announced plans to open 20 more stores in London over the next three years.[6] By September 2013, Itsu opened its first shop outside London, in Oxford.[7]

In January 2016, Itsu expanded into Northern England, choosing Spinningfields in central Manchester as the site for its first Northern store.[8] The chain later opened a branch in Leeds.

US launchEdit

In 2017, Julian Metcalfe confirmed his plans to launch its first restaurant in New York in 2018. The restaurant was opened in New York in June 2018.[9]

Itsu GroceryEdit

In March 2012, Metcalfe's Food Company, run by Robert Jakobi, launched the Itsu brand into retail[10] under the name Itsu [grocery]. As of September 2013, the brand was worth £12 million.[3] By the next month, Itsu groceries were selling 16 different products, including soups and noodles (including miso soup cups and noodle pots); snacks (including chocolate-covered edamame and rice cakes); sauces (including hoisin and teriyaki variants); and drinks.[11]

The Itsu [grocery] products are sold throughout the UK in places like Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, and Whole Foods Market. They can also be bought online.[12]


In January 2014, Itsu became the Official Partner of the Volleyball England Beach Tour.[13]

Alexander Litvinenko poisoningEdit

In October 2006, Russian nationals Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun arrived in London with polonium, a highly radioactive isotope. They had come to poison Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident, employee and Kremlin critic. Upon investigation into Litvinenko's poisoning, polonium was found in an Itsu branch in Piccadilly Circus, close to the Ritz.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Moules, Jonathan. "Itsu founder nurtures a new generation", The Financial Times, London, 21 January 2014. Retrieved on 21 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b Smithers, Rebecca (8 October 2010). "Pret A Manger chief is stacking up healthy profits in lean times". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  4. ^ "itsu". Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  5. ^ Ruddick, Graham (21 September 2013). "Sunday Interview: Pret A Manger founder Julian Metcalfe". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Itsu to Open 20 More London Outlets". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  7. ^ "£1m Itsu restaurant to open in Oxford". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 5 September 2014.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Shelina Begum (10 December 2015). "Itsu picks Spinningfields for Manchester opening". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  9. ^ "itsu New York". itsu us. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  10. ^ Vince Bamford, "Itsu to target retailers with new Asian snacks" The Grocer, June 2011
  11. ^ "itsu". Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Itsu grocery-where to buy, "Itsu grocery"
  13. ^ Charlotte Edwardes, "Mr Itsu: Julian Metcalfe on beautiful lean cuisine, why he loves London's hard-working immigrants and his noisy troupe of children and steps, "London Evening Standard", 3 February 2014
  14. ^ Luke Harding, " Alexander Litvinenko and the most radioactive towel in history, "The Guardian", 6 March 2016

External linksEdit