If it hasn't been done already, some day society is going to look back on how Chipotle revolutionized the fast food industry and compare it to how Ford revolutionized the manufacturing industry. The comparison starts with the assembly line workflow both of these business use to streamline how a product is produced, and extends to how that process is used to completely change a business. Even pizza is offered Chipotle-style now.
Before Chipotle, Subway and other chain restaurants began assembling orders right beneath a customer's nose, restaurants like McDonald's prepared your food their way behind a curtain of mystery. Burger King introduced "your way, right away," but the kitchen was still shielded from the customer.
These new fast casual restaurants, on the other hand, are preparing and assembling food with little more than a sneeze guard separating the customer from the action, and providing that transparency has done wonders for trust as well as tailored ordering. The burritos, for instance, aren't rolled until the customer gives a thumbs up. Can I get a little more sour cream please?
Or a little more wasabi. How Do you Roll, an approximately 40-location sushi restaurant, lets customers pick a wrapper, rice, fillings and sauce to custom create their own sushi roll. And it's coming to DFW.
Based in Austin, the first Dallas-area location is set to open in Plano in the Preston Park Village. I know what you're thinking. You watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi and it takes ten years to teach a person to roll sushi. How will this place find enough employees to make rolls to order? But just like with Model T. manufacturing, sushi production can be streamlined. And it has been.
Hopefully the folks behind How Do You Roll? will take another cue from Chipotle and offer the same transparency with their ingredient sourcing. Chipotle has built a reputation for sourcing meat and poultry responsibly, and buying at least a small amount of their produce locally.
While a spokesperson for How Do You Roll assured me that the yellow fin tuna, atlantic salmon, escolar, crawfish, shrimp, tempura shrimp and kani were all "best quality," she couldn't provide specific sourcing information for the ingredients, which is troubling considering the environmental challenges faced by so many fisheries.
Still, after spending way too much time watching YouTube videos, I can say How Do You Roll's product looks a hell of a lot more appetizing than what Whole Foods serves as "sushi." Just don't expect any toro.
Side-step sushi arrives in Plano sometime this summer.
How Do You Roll? 1921 Preston Road, Suite 2000, Plano.