We live in a world of fast, futuristic food - so how does a traditional sushi restaurant fit into that? Sushi chefs are not to be rushed, making sushi is a careful and precise art, and to be the best you need years of practice. No one is going to be opening the sushi equivalent of a McDonald's any time soon...
But regardless of these factors, sushi is evolving. Perhaps because nothing in Japan is quite safe from the country's insatiable love of technology.
It all started with the dawn of kaiten sushi restaurants. Kaiten refers to the revolving belt which offers restaurant goers a constant source of sushi choices! They proved so popular it didn't take long for them to start popping up all over the world.
But it didn't stop there. Recently there has been development in sushi machines; for a long time we've been able to cook rice to perfection and portion or roll it into perfect sushi, but now there are machines which can constant churn out individual portions of rice sushi balls, place them on a plate and roll them on to the conveyor. That's not all either, they even place microchips in sushi covey belt plates now too, helping to monitor stock levels and demand!
These microchips can even time how long the sushi has been on the belt, meaning freshness is easy to maintain.
Another japanese company has developed a conveyor belt dish with a domed lid that keeps the sushi at the perfect temperature. It automatically opens when the diner selects their dish too.
It's yet to come to the UK, but some Japanese kaiten sushi restaurants now also feature touch screen ordering systems, perfect if the restaurant also serves hot food which is cooked fresh to order. In some restaurants your sushi is ordered via touch screen then sent directly to your table on a conveyor belt train! Zero human interaction: perfect for introverts.
Cleverly, these electronic systems are not just for the convinience of the customer either - with whole restaurants becoming smart, computer systems can record how many people are sat in a restaurant, how long they have been sitting at their table and what they have ordered. During busy periods the computers can analyse past data and trends to give a good estimation of what dishes the chefs should be preparing, reducing food waste and ensuring maximum sales in providing customers with exactly what they want at idea timing!
Want to move to Japan yet? ;)