Yo Sushi – Don’t Yo Care About Yo Customers?

Oct 17, 2011   //   by Amy Fowler   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  21 Comments

Business and Social Media – How Not to Manage Your Campaign

Up until recently, Yo Sushi was one of my favourite restaurants. Yes, I know, there’s better Sushi out there, but I live in Nottingham and as it goes, we’re pretty limited in choice when it comes to Japanese fare.

Unfortunately, as the dedicated Yo Sushi lover I am, I made the mistake of being roped in by Yo’s ‘Super Sumo Sunday’ all-you-can-eat deal.

I’ve always been a sucker for all-you-can-eat restaurants yet this time; I was well and truly suckered.

Yo Sushi charges £18.50 a head for their ‘Super Sumo Sunday’ deal. Sounds pretty reasonable at first, when you consider how quickly the cost of those little coloured plates adds up.

Yet this deal comes with rules. You have to finish everything on your plate (fair enough, I hate waste too), you have two hours in which to ‘enjoy the deal’ and most importantly – you can’t make orders.

So, you are stuck with what’s on the belt. And on this occasion; it wasn’t much.

Seriously, if I ever see edamame beans or fish stick rolls again it will be too soon.

Granted, you were allowed to make ‘requests’ for food to appear on the belt but seeing as I was made to feel like a naughty child for doing so, I instead waited patiently for something new and interesting to roll round.

And guess what – it didn’t. Those two hours can pass surprisingly quickly when you’re splitting your time between staring at the belt; just in-case you might miss something good, and checking the clock to see how long you have left to actually grab and eat something good.

And these tense two hours came in at just over £40 for two, with a drink each, for an evening meal on a Sunday.

Now – I’ll get to the point.

Following Yo Sushi boasting about the continuation of Super Sumo Sunday’s on their Facebook page, I took the opportunity to air my views.

I posted a not entirely impolite summary of my experience and waited patiently for their response.



And waited, and waited.

Yo Sushi kindly took the time to respond to another ‘fan’ who had posted excitedly about the opening of a new branch. They even addressed her by name. Yet I went ignored.



Yet shortly after, I wasn’t the only person expressing my dissatisfaction. Others had joined in too, so I posted again.




Finally, I got a response. And I must say; I wasn’t pleased.




Apparently they ‘appreciate my thoughts and feedback’; yet they don’t acknowledge me as a person and they don’t mention my complaint.

In fact, this is one of the most corporate, impersonal and simply insincere attempts at social media I’ve seen yet.

Anyone who knows anything about social media knows that when you place your company in the ‘social sphere’ you are setting yourself up for both good and bad publicity.

And thus, you have to handle this publicity properly.

Speak to the dishevelled customer as an individual. Demonstrate that you care about their complaint and want to ensure the company resolves the issue for the future.

Up until this point, I had always quite admired Yo’s social efforts. Yet this is the first time I have seen them tested. And they failed – badly.

I won’t lie – I did have a slight hope that my complaint might lead to the offer of a free meal. I had of course wasted over £40 on some of the cheapest food they have available.

Yet what I wanted most was a response that made it clear Yo Sushi genuinely took my complaint on board and would take steps to ensure their Super Sumo Sunday deals were more satisfactory in future.

But I got neither.

Instead, they have not only ensured that myself and my friends will never take Yo Sushi up on the offer of this ‘deal’ again, but they have left me with a sour taste in my mouth and an uneasy feeling towards Yo Sushi in general.

Businesses take note; Yo Sushi’s handling of this matter has lost them a regular customer.

Remember that this is the digital age, and people won’t just be talking about you down the local pub with friends.

It’s a tough world out there and when you want to succeed in business, it’s not purely about profit – it’s about pleasing your customers too.

And I’m sorry to say, but right now, Yo Sushi is not pleasing this one.

Yo Sushi –Yo clearly don’t care about yo customers.

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Amy Fowler

This article was written by Amy Fowler; a marketing executive at Boom Online Marketing. Boom are a UK based online marketing company who offer services in SEO, social media, PPC, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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  • Andy Nattan

    Well, I’ve never been to Yo Sushi, and at £40 for fishsticks for two with a complimentary cold shoulder, I don’t think I’ll be visiting any time soon.

    Which is a shame, because I like the concept, and I am a fan of sushi…

    • Amy Fowler

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

      Honestly, on a normal day Yo Sushi is quite good and if you can get a discount voucher then the price isn’t *too* bad. (Hence the fact I was a big fan of them, until this unholy event)

      But yes, I would definitely recommend you avoid this deal, however, if you’re ever passing a branch and happen to be hungry, there’s probably worse places nearby that you could spend your money…

  • James Harper says:

    Great article Amy, this is a prime example of how companies of all sizes miss the boat with social media. It’s not just a platform to tell the world how great you are, it’s an opportunity to actually show the world how great you are (at customer service)!

  • Arfan says:

    I had planned to go there this weekend as well. May have to re-arrange to another sushi place.

  • atmedia.co says:

    Shocking! The least they could offer you is a personal apology and a free voucher or something.

  • Ian Lockwood says:

    That’s pretty poor, I can’t say I’ve ever been to a Yo Shushi but I’m really not inclined at those prices or that level of customer service. There are plenty of good quality independent restaurants that will charge less for a full three course meal with great service!

  • Amy Fowler

    Just an update: After posting this article on Yo Sushi’s Facebook page, they have finally given me a half decent reply! Take a look:


    However, there’s no sign they actually know which particular restaurant I’m referring to, and I still can’t help but think Yo Sushi purposely ensure only the cheapest food appears on the belt during these deals and nothing will change.

    They ‘hope I’ll give them another go’ but I’m sorry; I’m far from convinced.

    What does everyone think of their comment?

    • Gerald Weber

      Sounds like maybe too little too late?

      I mean they should have addressed the issue on Facebook before it came to a blog post eh?

      • Amy Fowler

        Definitely Gerald; that’s exactly what we were just saying here in the office!

        Had I received that reply in the first place, while I still wouldn’t have been completely satisfied, this article would never have been written and Yo Sushi wouldn’t have two people on here declaring they’ve now been deterred from ever visiting!

        One of the first rules of social media is to respond quickly and control the situation before it gets out your hands…. oops!

    • Andy Nattan

      Seems like a bog standard “Oh dear, we’ve missed the boat on this one” damage limitation reply to me. Not particularly impressive.

      • Amy Fowler

        Definitely. To be honest, what I’m really hoping will emerge from this is an agreement to accept specific orders as part of the deal.

        Even if the menu was restricted to certain items, diners would be able to see what they can and cannot eat beforehand and decide if or not the deal will be worth their while.

        If this was the case, and there was a good choice of food available, I’d most likely take up the offer again.

        I do have to give them credit for not deleting the article I posted on their wall however; I did foresee that happening…

  • Clare says:

    I went for this same deal and had a very similar experience. The selection was really poor and I don’t think I even managed to eat £18.50’s worth of food. Don’t bother!

  • Nick Harris says:

    Who says SEO articles have to be boring 🙂

  • Robert Deans says:

    Great article Amy.

    Unfortunately this is typical of how big brands just dont get social media and how to engage with their customers. It is something I get asked about a lot, so much so I wrote a blog post on it http://www.boom-online.co.uk/why-some-corporates-just-don%E2%80%99t-get-social-media

  • John Bentley says:

    Hi there Amy, I work for Yo sushi so I cannot use my real name. The deal is this, Sumo Sunday is the same menu as Blue Monday’s. Depending on which branch you went to its best to order from the waitress. The Yo sushi, run on mostly staff that are on minimum wage, and even the kitchen staff are on minimum wage. Most of the stuff that are sold on the Sumo Sunday or the fish rolls that you are eating are mostly, food that will be ‘going off’ or to be thrown away but still in the time line of to be sold. This is because there is no deliveries on Sunday.There wasnt much food on the belt is maybe because the manager is cost driven like mad. These places will cut your hours, just because they got no business. They use a marketing gimmick to sell people basically ‘Shit’ but most go either because they dont know better, or its a place to been seen. I seen girls that go to Yo sushi, thinking its trendy while there skin is more orange than our Salmon. Yo Sushi is catered to western taste. They are money driven, ignorant people. Next time try Wasabi.

  • Amy Fowler

    Thanks John for that insight – interesting stuff.

    Don’t have a Wasabi near me though unfortunately 🙁

  • Emma Moore says:

    Just wondering if you’d seen that they had changed the rules so that you only get 1 hour for your £18.50 instead of two hours. Absolutely ridiculous, if you had trouble waiting for what you wanted before now it has become nearly impossible!

  • Amy Fowler

    Hi Emma,

    No I wasn’t aware of that but just had a look and you’re right! What a joke. Do they really think £18.50 plus drinks justifies a rushed in-and-out in an hour kind of meal? Soooo many better ways to spend that sort of money (even a regular meal in Yo Sushi would make better use of it).

  • Karen says:

    I have long since noticed this ‘offer’ to be a total swizz. I’ve been to Yo Sushi on a Sunday a few times before just for a normal meal and noticed a lack of choice on the belt. Presumably they don’t have a delivery on a Sunday so just use it as an excuse to defrost a few edamame beans and cucumber maki and charge over the odds for it. It’s gone up to £19.50 but the terms are as stingy as ever. You’re not allowed grey or yellow plates either. Takes all the fun out of it really.