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  • Zachary Ridgwick

Why is sushi so expensive in the UK?

Everyone loves the famous Japanese food sushi. Soft white rice and delicious delicacies such as raw tuna, avocado, salmon, anything really, wrapped in thin sheets of seaweed. Drizzle some soy sauce on top and it’s amazing. It’s insanely popular, being the fourth most popular to go meal in the UK and you can find sushi restaurants in every town. However, there’s one thing that puts people off a lot: the price.

Customers can easily find themselves staring at a £20+ receipt after buying only one or two platters of sushi. Speaking from personal experience, I was once eating some in Kingston with my friends. It was enough for five people and cost over £40. If we had bought say five sandwiches from M&S, it would have been way less – probably around ten quid.

Why is this, though? Why do we have to pay so much for just some rice and fish? Here are some of the reasons why sushi is so expensive.

Reason Nr 1. – The cost of the ingredients

Sushi restaurants use lots of ingredients. Countless types of fish, vegetables, seasonings, rice, the list goes on. Some of these foods need to be kept fresh and can only be used for a certain amount of time, meaning that the restaurants are constantly buying more and more ingredients from their suppliers. Fish used in sushi can also be difficult to get and is in conclusion very expensive. Making sushi is just generally expensive and with hundreds of customers a day they need to be stocked up at all times.

Reason Nr 2. – The demand of sushi

As said before, sushi is very popular. How does this relate to the price, though? Well, with so many people wanting to eat it, the restaurants and sushi places can raise and lower the prices however they want. They saw how sought after sushi was and realised that they could raise their prices without losing customers. And since sushi is foreign and almost exotic to some people they won’t mind spending money on it.

Reason Nr 3. – Labour costs

In Japan, making sushi is considered an art form. Chefs spend years perfecting their ability to not only make sushi and bring out the perfect taste but also to make sure it’s healthy and edible. And since that can be difficult, there are not unlimited amounts of chefs. Restaurants have to make sure they’re financially supporting the chefs so they won’t lose them to the competition. They would then have to raise the cost of the sushi to make sure they’re not losing too much money.

Those are the main reasons why sushi is expensive. I hope you understand a little bit more about this tasty, traditional Japanese delicacy and remember this before you’re about to have a panic attack because of the price.


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