Sushi Mata, a Church Street restaurant established in November 2020, recently consulted Realise Business about readying themselves for reopening. They worked on ensuring the business is generally geared up for success and, in particular, prepared for outdoor dining.
Realise Business has worked with several Eat Street businesses, including Sushi Mata, to help them make provisions for outdoor dining. With more customers looking for outdoor dining experiences over the coming weeks and months, now is a great time for local restaurants and cafes to explore al fresco options.
Sushi Mata’s commitment
Business owner Daniel Park opened his Eat Street business Sushi Mata with the goal of feeding customers who were craving “the comfort of Japanese home food”.
Sushi Mata comes from The Japanese word ‘mata’ (また) which means ‘again’, reflecting its commitment to “bringing healthy and high quality Japanese food to our customers again and again,” explains Daniel.
The fare is popular with office workers, tradies, locals and families. Daniel nominates Sushi Mata’s signature dishes as: Grilled Salmon Sushi, Mata Deluxe Bento and Spicy Volcano Rolls. He adds, “Our experienced chefs source fresh produce and ingredients to carefully plate each dish by hand.”
Support for the business
Daniel began working with Tim Noye from Realise Business during the 2021 lockdown. They developed a strategy to reopen the business with streamlined operations including improved supply chain arrangements and developing the capacity for outdoor dining.
As Daniel is passionate about the consistently high-quality produce, superb presentation and customer service offered by Sushi Mata, Tim advised that looking into key areas of the restaurant’s supply chain could help in achieving optimal results at a sustainable supplier cost.
They focused on obtaining an outdoor dining licence to ensure that Sushi Mata would have great outdoor dining appeal when there was a resurgence in restaurant patrons.
Strengthening the business and supply chain arrangements
Realise Business worked with Sushi Mata on a broad range of issues related to strengthening the business operations.
Tim Noye provided further advice on improving the restaurant’s business operational model, including modifications to COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), a review of supply chains, drinks licensing, OH&S and general industry compliance.
Supply arrangements became a focal point for improvement. Tim offered Daniel advice, recommendations, and guidance on exploring key supply chain details. He advised on investigating his supply chain to address areas of improvement and pointed out that, on occasion, savings of 6% can be achieved, which in turn makes a big difference to the bottom line.
The review process involved revisiting their current large-scale suppliers and then looking for where any potential revenue could be saved by careful comparison. In the restaurant’s case, drilling down into the cost of seafood that is used with sashimi was instrumental in making savings.
The Sushi Mata business operations review showed that by working on COGS and supply chain arrangements, significant savings could be found. This would also strengthen the business for the future.
Outdoor dining opportunities
Parramatta’s Eat Street has always been an excellent example of indoor plus outdoor dining, and more cafes and restaurants have taken up the outdoor concept in recent years.
When Realise Business Advisor Tim Noye began working with Sushi Mata’s owner on reopening plans that would maximise opportunities, they decided the outdoor dining experience had great potential.
Procedures for obtaining a licence
During the lockdown, Realise Business worked with many Parramatta businesses like Sushi Mata to provide support and advice around outdoor dining procedures plus the documentation required as the owners applied for an outdoor dining permit for their premises.
Tim provided Daniel with general help and guidance to develop Sushi Mata’s outdoor dining capacity. He liaised and communicated with Parramatta Council on behalf of the business and gave Sushi Mata business support and encouragement during the process of obtaining the correct licence.
To achieve outdoor dining, several documents had to be filled in and sent to council. This included proof of public and private liability, a copy of the lease agreement and any relevant company branding.
This has now been organised and the restaurant has 20 outdoor seats.
“We are really happy we now have outdoor dining,” says Daniel.
For other local businesses wanting to obtain a permit, it’s the ideal time to act. The local council is waiving outdoor dining fees for businesses in the Parramatta CBD along the Light Rail Corridor until the end of the year.
Preparation for a positive future
The support from Realise Business is ongoing. Tim will continue to assist Sushi Mata with operational planning such as ordering, inventory, managing budgets and costing menus.
The revitalisation of the Eat Street precinct and the overall transformation of Parramatta means that prepared businesses can take advantage of the positive opportunities for growth and economic development. In preparation for the steady foot traffic the business now has a marketing strategy to ensure the restaurant is clearly visible and will attract passing customers.
As Parramatta cafes and restaurants work through the early phase of reopening, there’s still time to engage a Realise Business advisor to finetune your arrangements and plan for future growth. A consultation could include how your establishment can meet requirements for outdoor dining.
Business offer and link
If you would like to experience dining at Sushi Mata – seated outdoors or indoors – you can now book a table via their website. Go to www.sushimata.com.au to make your reservation.