Drone helicopter sushi: London restaurant capitalizes on Japan’s futuristic reputation

Photo: Daily Mail

We’ve previously written about how Japan has used technology to improve operations in sushi restaurants, for example, using iPads to take orders, or using IC tags on plates for quick calculation of bills. All this has made the process far more efficient. But one sushi restaurant in London might have jumped the shark when it comes to sushi tech, using a remote-control drone copter as a sort of flying tray to deliver orders to customers at their tables.

It’s called the iTray (no points for originality there) and London’s Yo’ Sushi has been using it on a trial basis with plans to expand use to other locations if all goes well. The effort is part of the company’s promotion for a special Japan-inspired burger, which uses toasted rice instead of a bun [1].

According to The Daily Mail chef Mike Lewis thinks that alluding to Japan in this way will resonate with customers, noting “with the YO! Burger and iTray we know guests will feel like they’ve had a taste of the future.”

This is an interesting notion, creating a faux-future that customers may think resembles Japan. Of course in actual fact, there is no such sushi helicopter in Japan — not that I know of anyway. But Japanese companies can learn a lesson here: Even though the country has lots of economic problems recently, many people in the west still equate the Japan with a magical high tech future.

Brand Japan still has tons of global marketing potential, and that’s something many companies can take advantage of in this way.

  1. I’ve never seen such a hamburger bun here in Tokyo. Maybe it’s an Osaka thing or something.  ↩