Chinese taking over Dutch sushi market

Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Helanhuaren)Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Helanhuaren)

The number of Japanese restaurants in the Netherlands is increasing, while the number of Chinese restaurants is on the decline. However, a large proportion of Japanese cafes actually have Chinese ownership, according to a report by AD.

The demand for Japanese food in the Netherlands is rising, and there are more Chinese individuals in the country prepared to meet that demand. "The strength of Chinese entrepreneurs is that they can adapt very quickly," says Li Ping Lin from the Association of Chinese Caterers. "They know how to survive," Lin added.

"I think 95 percent of Sushi restaurants [in the Netherlands] are in Chinese hands."

Chinese entrepreneurs also adapt quickly to the process of preparing the food on the menu. "The real training in Japan takes years," says Jinting Zheng, a Chinese restaurant owner in Warnsveld. "We gave our chefs an accelerated course, and it is going well. The customers are happy and so are we."

Chinese restaurant owners also frequently switch the menus served at their establishments. Entrepreneur Andy Chen worked for several years in his father's Chinese restaurant. Afterwards, the family opened a cafe with a menu entirely from the wok. "We saw no future in Chinese cuisine," admits Chen.

The sushi trend fits well a continuing Dutch trend to eat healthier, believes Joris Prinssen from the Royal Hospitality Industry Association. The trend will probably not last forever, he argues. The revenue of sushi restaurants has reached its peak and is now beginning to stagnate, Prinssen claimed.