Founder, owner and creative driving force behind all things YO!, Simon Woodroffe left school at the age of 16 and spent 30 years in the entertainment business. His production companies in London and Los Angeles designed and staged concerts for most of the 70's and 80's performers from The Moody Blues to Madness and Rod Stewart to George Michael and events such as Live Aid.
YO! Sushi was founded in 1997 by Simon after an acquaintance suggested he open a conveyor belt sushi bar with girls in PVC mini skirts... and so started the world's most famous conveyor belt sushi bars featuring call buttons, robot drinks trolleys, Japanese TV and most recently self heating plates. YO! Sushi opened six restaurants across the globe in 2006, and in 2007 celebrated its tenth birthday year by launching 6 UK and 10 International sites. Simon still owns 22% of YO! Sushi and a royalty stream in perpetuity and is building the YO! brand through YO! Company.
YO! Company is the wholly owned holding company of Simon Woodroffe that works with others to develop and seed finance YO! ideas and new YO! brands. YO! Co owns equity stakes and collects royalties from its endeavours. Simon believes that the holy grail of retail today is to constantly and never endingly innovate in order to deliver high luxury without the high cost.
2006 OBE for services to the Hospitality Industry
2005 Winner Innovative Concept in Hotel Lodging for YOTEL
2004 Winner Hospitality Environment for YOTEL
2001 Retail Interiors Awards Most Outstanding Retail Experience for Edinburgh
2001 Theme Best Marketing Award
2000 Group Restaurateur of the Year
1999 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year
Simon is in great demand as a speaker at corporate events talking about entrepreneurship, customer service, creativity and innovation. He avoids business cliché and speaks candidly from his own experiences with success and failure and audiences describe him as "an extraordinary, ordinary guy''.
"96% of respondents were 'dazzled' or 'delighted' by Simon Woodroffe's performance."
"Simon was on excellent form and very effectively opened up key issues for the participants.”
"A most honest and human presentation from a person of great maturity ... Passionate and refreshing."
"Simon had us thinking of real situations where we can now do things differently."
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