Jobs to be created as Japanese restuarant to launch flagship store in Birmingham

Japanese ‘sando’ shop Shokupan will launch its flagship store in Birmingham city centre next week, leading to the creation of 20 jobs.

Shokupan, which has rebranded from Gupshup, has used a five-figure funding package from HSBC UK to fit out the new 2,128 sq ft restaurant in Birmingham’s Grand Central, above New Street Station.

The ‘quick service restaurant’, which aims to serve lunchtime customers within two minutes of ordering, will seat up to 35 diners.

The restaurant, which opens on 5th October, has used funding from HSBC UK to invest in innovative, custom-built kitchen equipment, including bespoke self-service screens and state of the art interior design.

The funding has also allowed Shokupan to open a new bakery near Birmingham Science Park Aston, which it will use to bake the bread for the sandos it will serve.

The city centre restaurant will create 20 jobs, including four chefs, 14 service staff, a fulfilment manager and a bakery manager.

Following the opening, Shokupan is planning to launch eight new stores nationwide by 2025. The independent business is also exploring franchising opportunities to further grow its portfolio.

Wasi Taj, brand founder at Shokupan, said: “Demand for our sandos surprised us. We were selling out at our Colmore Row shop by 2pm, so it was clear that we needed to move to bigger premises and invest in our own supply chain. With HSBC UK’s support, both financially and advisory, we are excited to drive the growth of our business with this new restaurant and London as the next stop.”

Raja Khan, relationship manager at HSBC UK, added: “Shokupan has grown immensely since its inception four years ago, from two men and a kitchen table to a food delivery phenomenon during Covid, and more recently as a firm favourite lunchtime spot for workers across the Colmore Row Business District in Birmingham. We’re delighted to be supporting Shokupan as the business continues to grow its presence in the West Midlands and beyond.”

A Japanese ‘sando’ is a sandwich made with shokupan, a sweet light fluffy milk-based bread.