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HOSPITALITY/FOOD: HAJIME ‘JIMMY’ UBA

CHAIRMAN/CEO/PRESIDENT, KURA SUSHI USA

WHY: Oversees Irvine-based revolving sushi restaurant chain, valued at around $800M as of October. Reports $141M in systemwide sales.

IN THE NEWS: Summer marked notable marketing campaign with U.S.’s DC Comics; Kura often links up with Japanese brands for marketing purposes. Uba said the newest mobile app, launched in October, was potentially the biggest implementation of 2023 fiscal year; features new waitlist algorithm with more accurate wait times estimates.

NOTEABLE: Uba told analysts that a quarter of restaurant sales are accomplished through rewards program, now topping 700,000 members, with users visiting about six times as frequently and average checks about 20% higher.

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