Nobody wants to eat subpar sushi.
Yet in 2017, that’s what you’d get if you wanted sushi for lunch at a decent price in New York City.
That’s when David Hess went on a mission to democratize the traditional Japanese fare.
“The status quo for affordable sushi in New York was terrible,” David says. “We wanted to create high-quality, made to order sushi at an affordable price point.”
And so, Bondi Sushi was born to provide New Yorkers with conscientious fish, cut clean and served fresh.
Making restaurant fare roadworthy
To be competitive, David had to figure out a way to offer his sushi on the go—especially as the culture of “food on demand” was taking hold.
David says delivery and catering became “increasingly important to the success” of each of his stores.
But how could he send his sushi out for delivery every day and feel confident it would live up to his strict standards for quality?
He came up with his own packaging.
David developed custom delivery boxes designed to hold sushi rolls securely during transit. They’re also specially made with cup holes for condiments such as ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce, keeping them separate from the sushi but also front-and-center to the customer on opening.
Bondi Sushi also made the choice to use paper boxes, not plastic, to further its commitment to sustainability.
“Our packaging is one of the most important factors that separates us from all other delivery,” David says. “We actually patented our boxes since it is such an integral part of who we are as a company.”
Narrowing down the menu
David estimates delivery and catering represent around 60% of Bondi’s total business.
But in order to ensure all those customers have a positive experience, he took a hard look at his menu to make sure that everything going out for delivery could make it in tact.
Not every item made the cut.
“We specifically offer our hand rolls to only our in-store customers because they’re best consumed immediately,” he says.
After all, delivery customers will write reviews, too.
Finding the right delivery partner
Once food leaves the store, it’s out of a restaurant’s hands and under the care of a delivery company. If they don’t get it right, the restaurant team’s hard work is futile.
Bondi Sushi found a partner with equally high standards in STADIUM. Our concept of delivering individual lunch orders to offices around New York was ideal for their menu.
“We’ve seen great success because office workers crave a meal that’s light and healthy while still being filling,” David says. “Sushi is one of the rare categories that fits all these requirements.”
While David and his team take care of the food, STADIUM handles all other aspects of ordering and delivery: transportation, timing, customer payments, and more.
“Since we don’t have to worry about the logistical aspect of the order, our restaurant can focus on what’s most important: preparing the highest quality affordable sushi in New York,” he says.
Cashing in on off-peak hours
The unique STADIUM model, which allows restaurants to prepare orders prior to the lunch rush, has fringe benefits as well for busy restaurants like Bondi.
“The fact that our team can prepare over $1k of sushi each morning before 11 a.m. ensures the highest labor utilization possible even when our store is not yet open to the public,” David says.
With the basics of delivering high-quality food down pat, now the doors are open for Bondi Sushi to experiment and grow. The restaurant has already expanded from their flagship location in Nomad to outposts in Midtown, Tribeca, and Nolita.
Any new, experimental dishes they come up with can be tested in our Beta Dish program before being rolled out restaurant wide.
Our relationship with restaurants truly is a partnership, and we look forward to seeing how else Bondi Sushi continues to wow office workers with high-quality sushi.
Interested in partnering with STADIUM to get your best dishes into the hands of hungry New York professionals? Join us here: