There is no mistaking the style of a Wagamama restaurant, with its communal, blond wood tables and array of scented Japanese noodle dishes. Simplicity is the watchword of the chain, which has 30 restaurants around Britain and 11 overseas franchises. Alan Yau set up the firm with the proceeds from the sale of his family’s Chinese restaurants in 1992, and left in 1998 after a management buyout that was backed by Graphite Private Equity. Better rates from suppliers and a large, central kitchen facility have helped to raise Wagamama’s profits 53% a year from £1.3m in 2001 to £4.6m in 2004.
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