As originally seen on PRWeek

Kura Sushi U.S.A., a restaurant that serves food via a conveyor belt, has brought on Coyne PR as its public relations AOR.

There was no RFP process. Lauren Murakami, Kura Sushi U.S.A.’s PR and communications manager, said she “organically” came upon Coyne in her research, and the firm seemed like a perfect fit. Murakami interviewed other firms, selected Coyne in August and the two began working together last month.

“As we were looking for representation, we were looking for and wanting an agency with a strong clientele of national full-service restaurants,” Murakami said.

Coyne PR is helping Kura to elevate the brand’s awareness, broaden its consumer base and deepen relationships with customers and key stakeholders via media and influencer relations on the consumer and lifestyle side, said Murakami. Coyne PR is emphasizing the restaurant’s commitment to quality food and memorable dining experiences with a focus on store openings and prize collaborations.

Kura Sushi, with 52 locations in the U.S. and more set to open in the coming year, has machines that give customers Bikkura Pon licensed prizes and Kur-B the KuraBot, which delivers drinks tableside. 

“There’s amazing growth happening for them right now and a strong pipeline of new openings but we are also looking at it through the strategic lens of how we can bring to life this concept they call ‘eater-tainment,’” said Coyne SVP Lauren Mackiel. “It is a true immersive experience. You haven’t had sushi until you’ve had it on a conveyor belt with robots bringing you drinks and prizes involved.”

The firm supported the Kura Sushi Rewards app launch, which kicked off October 10.

Coyne VP Amanda Early is leading a team of five on the account. Budget information was not disclosed. 

Powerhouse+Co. was the incumbent on the account. That relationship lasted one year and ended in August, Murakami said. 

“Powerhouse+Co. is extremely proud of its communications work in support of Kura Sushi, including national media coverage and the introduction of a coast-to-coast influencer program,” the firm said in a statement. “As Kura experiences more U.S. growth, we’re also proud of the brand foundation Powerhouse+Co. built and wish the company continued success.”

Kura Sushi U.S.A. was established in 2008 as a subsidiary of Kura Sushi, a Japan-based revolving sushi chain with more than 600 restaurants internationally.

Coyne PR has offices in New York and New Jersey. Last year, it reported a 9% increase in revenue to $39 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report. In recent months, the agency has been named PR AOR for canned-tuna giant StarKistL’Oréal skincare brand Thayers Natural Remedies and Edible.