Guy Vaknin believes that the Sharks will appreciate Beyond Sushi, a vegan sushi chain in New York City, that he expects will succeed.
Vaknin recently celebrated the opening of his sixth site in New York City, which took place in April.
The New York Vegetarian Food Festival was his first outlet for vegan sushi sales, which closed in July 2012. He then opened his first brick-and-mortar restaurant in September 2012.
One of the six restaurants he owns is a full-service restaurant; the others are mostly quick food/take-out cafes.
The vast majority of Vaknin’s clients are not vegans; instead, they simply want nutritious, plant-based meals.
He credits his passion for cooking to his Moroccan grandmother, who taught him to prepare dishes using herbs and potent spices.
Vaknin served in the Israeli Defense Forces before emigrating to the United States. He discovered his true passion was in the culinary industry after studying computer engineering for a short while.
His career in the culinary world began after graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education when he appeared as a contestant on the television show Hell’s Kitchen. He and his wife, Tali, have been married since 2013 and have a son together.
Chef Vaknin uses fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to create delicious traditional dishes like sushi, dumplings, and rice paper wraps.
Beyond Sushi began as a festival concept in New York City six years ago and is now present in six cities.
Vaknin now wishes to expand his business beyond the municipal limits, and he seeks the assistance of a Shark.
Do sharks eat only vegan food?
What Is Beyond Sushi?
Beyond Sushi is the first chain of restaurants to sell a plant-based alternative to traditional sushi more than a decade ago. The vegetarian recipes in its restaurants find a valuable following among vegans.
The Beyond Sushi chain provides plant-based sushi rolls in its vegan restaurants. Beyond Sushi creates visually appealing and delicious sushi by incorporating fresh grains, fruits, and vegetables.
|Company Name||Beyond Sushi|
|Product||Vegetarian Sushi Restaurant for Plant-Based Food|
|Episode||Season 10 Episode 3|
|Investment Asking For||$1.5 Million For 25% Of West Coast + 5% Of East Coast stake in Beyond Sushi|
|Final Deal||$1.5 Million For 30% Of West Coast + 15% Of East Coast stake in Beyond Sushi|
|Shark||Matt Higgins and Lori Greiner|
|Business Status||In Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Beyond Sushi?
Guy Vaknin is the chef behind Beyond Sushi, who presented Beyond Sushi to the Sharks on Season 10 of Shark Tank.
He entered the Tank in search of an investment to help him extend his business from New York City to the West Coast.
He requested $1.5 million in exchange for a 25 percent ownership stake in his West Coast activities and a five percent ownership stake in his East Coast enterprises.
Guy Vaknin’s grandmother, born in Israel and raised there, taught him to cook. He served in the military before immigrating to the United States to obtain a degree in information technology.
He went on to receive more training at The Institute of Culinary Creations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York and his wife and business partner Tali.
Vaknin assisted his parents in preparing food when they separated. Before partnering with his father, he worked in the restaurant industry to open a catering company.
Tali’s vegetarian background inspired the menu when the couple opened their first restaurant in 2012.
Beyond Sushi Before Shark Tank
Since 2012, Beyond Sushi has provided vegan options to sushi lovers throughout the U.S.
There was little to no fanfare at the opening of the Beyond Sushi counter. Still, it was in a busy shop in the heart of Manhattan’s Union Station neighborhood.
Students, professionals, and street artists were attracted to the neighborhood’s hip restaurants and eventually to the fast-casual menu at Beyond Sushi.
Sushi has a predominantly grain-based composition combined with vegetables, fruits, and teriyaki sauce distinctively flavored with exotic flavors such as vinegar-tinged rice, sweet mayonnaise, nutty sesame seeds, and sweet-and-sour teriyaki sauce.
The survey found that 60 percent of the customers are not vegans or vegetarians, despite no fish or shellfish being used in the preparation.
Beyond Sushi has been widely praised in the press, with articles appearing in publications such as The New York Times, The New York Post, and The New York Daily News.
The Village Voice named it one of “Manhattan’s Best Plant-Based Restaurants,” featured in the magazine.
Guy Vaknin is the chef at this restaurant, while Tali Vaknin is his business partner and co-owner.
His menu is flavored by Guy’s Israeli-Moroccan heritage, influenced by the flavors and colors he encountered as a child in the kitchen of his Moroccan grandmother.
Tali brought her vegetarianism from her childhood and her years of experience working in the food sector to the table.
The chefs combined their talents to develop a healthy, tasty, and attractively presented food, certified by the International Kosher Council.
Guy had originally intended to pursue a career as a computer engineer after emigrating to the United States from Israel.
Regardless, he was soon pulled into his sister Tali’s catering business, in which his family also operates a kosher restaurant.
He decided to become a chef and graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City in 2009.
He then worked as an Executive Chef for a catering company before becoming a finalist on Hell’s Kitchen, the food reality program hosted by the demanding (and at times “hellish”) Gordon Ramsay, in which he placed third.
It didn’t matter that he didn’t win; Tali still started their vegan sushi restaurant.
The company began by giving samples of their savory sushi away at yoga studios and gyms; then, they participated in the annual Vegetarian Food Festival.
They decided to open the first Beyond Sushi location due to the overwhelmingly positive response.
The company has now opened six locations throughout Manhattan, including a full-service restaurant in the garment district that offers a supper menu in addition to basic menu items.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Beyond Sushi?
Guy approached the Shark Tank demanding an investment of $1.5 million in exchange for a 25 percent stake in his west coast firm and a 5 percent stake in his east coast business of Beyond Sushi.
He makes his sales pitch and discusses his menu options. In exchange, he gives away three of his best-selling rolls. Lori thinks it’s just stunning.
The food appeals to all of the sharks. There are 280 calories in an eight-piece roll, which sells for $7.50 with a production cost of $1.50 per roll.
He presently has six outlets spread over Manhattan. His enormous facility generates $2.5 million in revenue each year.
It all comes together in one large commissary kitchen that serves all six locations.
He owns a quarter of Ruby Tuesday’s eastern operations as part of his 2015 partnership with the company’s owner – a friend of Matt’s.
He made a total of $4 million in sales last year (2017), but he suffered a $272,000 loss due to adding two huge locations and constructing his commissary kitchen.
He earned $600,000 that year and generated $2.4 million in revenue. He is expected to make $5.6 million this year.
Guy and Matt engage in a heated debate about restaurants employing restaurant lingo.
Daymond claims that he cannot comprehend the language and, as a result, has been ejected.
Kevin believes the valuation is irrational, and he has resigned.
Mark claims that his instinct is telling him that he should leave.
Matt and Lori decide to form a business partnership, but they want to secure a bigger share of the east coast business than the west coast venture, which is yet to be discovered.
They are offering them $1.5 million in exchange for a 30 percent stake in the west coast business and a 15 percent stake in the east coast business. He says yes.
What Happened To Beyond Sushi After Shark Tank?
Lori Greiner and guest Shark, NFL executive Matt Higgins, signed a contract with him shortly after he left, exchanging 30 percent of the West and 15 percent of the East for $1.5 million. However, Guy refused the investment after the show.
Beyond Sushi unveiled a new catering branch, City Roots, in early 2020, following its appearance on Shark Tank.
However, the company’s intentions to grow Beyond Sushi in Los Angeles, California, have been put on hold.
Beyond Sushi Shark Tank Update
The deal between Matt and Lori never materialized. Guy rejected Lori’s bid during the due diligence phase. He never opened a west coast restaurant.
Like many restaurateurs in New York, he also faced difficulties in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
He attempted to negotiate rent with his landlords, and he was successful. Despite this, he has been reduced to four sites.
Beyond Sushi is back in business as of February 2022 and anticipates that everything will return to normal after the pandemic.
Is Beyond Sushi Still In Business?
Yes, Beyond Sushi is still in business as of 2022. However, the business was hampered negatively by the COVID pandemic.