3 p.m., Nov. 23)
insurance appraiser opens hot new restaurant in Orléans
Jack Chung is the proud owner of Sawa Sushi
located across from the Shenkman Arts Centre
in the Orléans Town Centre . Fred Sherwin/Photo
little over a year ago, Jack Chung was doing accident
appraisals for several car insurance companies. Today,
he is the owner of Sawa Sushi, a hot, new restaurant located
across from the Shenkman Arts Centre in the Orléans
Sushi opened in September in the space formerly occupied
by Luigi's Italian Eatery which was formerly East Side
Mario's. Chung's formula for success is simple, serve
quality food in a warm and friendly environment that above
all else, respects the customer.
important thing is to be sincere, not just in how you
serve the customer, but in how you make your food. You
have to treat the customer the way that you would want
to be treated," says Chiung, who is currently splitting
his time between operating the restaurant and searching
for a new home in Orléans for his wife and their
planning the restaurant, Chung wanted to offer local residents
quality Asian food, and especially sushi, which is the
third fastest growing type of food in Ottawa, in an all-you-can-eat
format, something normally unheard of in other sushi restaurants.
don't believe you can serve quality sushi in an all-you-can-eat
format and make money. They think you must either cut
costs and sacrifice quality or you will go out of business.
The fact is while some people eat a lot, most people eat
not as much. They eat to enjoy the food. You have to find
the balance between quality, consumption and price. At
$13.95 for the lunch menu and $21.95 for dinner, we are
still making money," says Chung.
is also unique in that they have different prices for
children based on age. One of the drawbacks to most all-you-can-eat
restaurants for families is that children never eat their
money's worth, which is one way the restaurant ends up
making money. At Sawa kids under-3 eat for free; for children
three- and four-years-old you pay $4.95; for children
5- to 7-years-old it's $8.95; and for kids 8-10 it's $13.95.
They also have an all-you-can-eat discount for seniors.
important factor to the Sawa's early success if the fact
that the all-you-can-eat menu is not just limited to sushi.
Tempura dishes are also included along with teriyaki favourites,
several Thai selections such as Pad Thai chicken and beef,
General Tso chicken and even crispy chicken wings. In
fact, the dinner menu has nearly 200 items to choose from.
course Sawa also has an à la carte menu with several
different combo selections and main dishes such as Thai
curry, assorted Tempura, lemon chicken, and assorted Teriyaki
early buzz since the restaurant opened has focused on
the quality of the food. Chung says this has a lot to
do with the restaurant's experienced kitchen staff. The
head chef started cooking Asian food when he was in his
early teens and has more than 17 years experience. The
sushi chef has 10 years experience.
head chef is also one of my investors, so that should
tell you a lot. He has a vested interest in making sure
this business is a success," says Chung, whose goal
is to eventually franchise the business.
that end they are doing a lot of work in promoting their
brand, especially in the social media. Their Facebook
profile has accumulated 294 "Likes" in just
three short weeks.
of the posts include: "Another great dinner at Sawa!!!
We calculated we've eaten at 16 sushi restaurants in Ottawa.
This is at the top!!!!" by Julie Lefebvre, and "Best
Restaurant! By far my favorite all you can eat ever! I'd
come to Ottawa anytime for this sushi!" by Sarah
Coun. Bob Monette is already a frequent customer and Mayor
Jim Watson dropped by to sample their menu earlier this
the restaurant can seat more than 400 people, they currently
have seating for just over 200, including a large bar
open the whole restaurant when you don't need all the
seats? It doesn't make any sense. Right now we can serve
with the customers we have with 200 seats. The important
thing is we have room to expand. When we start operating
at full capacity we will be the largest sushi restaurant
in Ontario," says Chung who points to the future
opening of a large office building behind the Shenkman
Arts Centre and a new hotel as opportunities for growth.
staffing the new restaurant, Chung went out of his way
to hire local servers.
worked with the Employment Ontario Centre next door and
we held a job fair. I wanted to make sure we hired local
people and we hired bilingual people. The funny thing
is that its turned into a cultural exchange. Some of our
chefs never had to speak English at work before. Now they
are learning to speak with our servers in English. It's
Sushi is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.;
and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Lunch
is served from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To
make a reservation or place an order for pick-up call
613-834-0008, or visit their website at www.sawasushi.ca.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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