Simon Woodrofe OBE is the founder of YO! Sushi.
Woodroffe left school at the age of 16 and spent the next 30 years in the entertainment business.
His production companies in London and Los Angeles designed and staged concerts for many artists during the ’70s and ’80s including The Moody Blues, Madness, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder and George Michael.
In the 90s, Simon went into television. He spearheaded the development of television deals to show huge international rock concerts worldwide, including Nelson Mandela concerts, shows for Amnesty International and the Prince’s Trust concerts.
In 1997, Simon Woodroffe founded YO! Sushi – a conveyor belt sushi bar. The concept was to make eating a complete entertainment experience and featured call buttons, robot drinks trolleys and Japanese TV. The first restaurant opened on London’s Poland Street and became an overnight phenomenon. Today it continues to expand both at home and abroad.
Simon won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1999 and became part of the CBI/BCC Ambassador of Entrepreneurism campaign. In 2001 he was awarded the accolade of Best Venue at the Retailer of the Year Awards. In recognition of his contribution to hospitality, in 2006, Simon was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
In 2005, Woodroffe appeared on the BBC 2 worldwide hit programme Dragons’ Den as one of the Dragons, where would-be entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas for financing. Simon has also featured on Discovery TV’s VIP Weekends with Ian Wright, ITV’s Homes & Property and ITV’s The Millionaire’s Club.
As a result of being asked to share the story of his entrepreneurial success, Simon has developed a strong reputation as an inspirational keynote business speaker.
As a speaker, Simon Woodroffe is charismatic and engaging. He tells a very personal story about how he has built the YO! brand and communicates his passion and vision for businesses. He has an energising presence, talks common sense avoiding business-speak and cliché and audiences say that what he says is of practical use.
Speaking Topics include:
- Using Innovation to Win New Markets
- Getting to YO! or How I got my YO!
- The Business Revolution
- YO! – Superbrand
- Unlocking Creativity
- A Nation of Entrepreneurs?
- Outside the Comfort Zone
- First Impression Technology
- CAN I – Constant And Never-Ending Innovation
Simon Woodroffe continues to develop new YO! brands including:
- YOTEL – the world’s most revolutionary hotel that opened in 2007
- YO! Zone – part spa, part cafe, part bar and part nightclub
- YO! Home – residential properties