Case Study

El Sushi Loco

Sushi Restaurant

…focus on “creating systems” that can operate efficiently and autonomously.

Looking for a fresh start after a dark period in his life, Frank Mendoza found a new passion for sushi through his nephew that worked as a suchero, or sushi chef in Spanish. While it started as a way to help his struggling nephew and give back to his aunt for the care she gave him growing up, he realized that the art of sushi would be a fantastic way to turn his life around and “pick up the pieces, one sushi piece at a time.” In 2010, Frank purchased a carreta—a hand pushed food cart—and began making and selling sushi on the streets of Greater Los Angeles. From those humble beginnings in the small cart, El Sushi Loco expanded to three physical locations, in Downey, Pomona and La Puente, and continues to serve their specialty Mexican sushi dine-in and take-out. Frank attributes his success to his focus on “creating systems” that can operate efficiently and autonomously. He’s invested in many different kinds of kitchen technology and automation, including AUTEC Sushi Robots.

Robot Impact Metrics

Sushi output rate

0 %

Table turnover rate

0 %

Rice waste

0 %

Operation cost

0 %

Sushi Operation Challenges

Consistency between locations was hard to achieve

Consistency between locations is easily achieved as the sheets produced consistency using the robot.

Sushi Robot Impact

Overhead costs were becoming too expensive

There is less overhead cost because the ASM865A helps reduces the amount of rice used when making sushi rolls. Less food wastage from human error.

Sushi Robot Impact

Cross contamination issues with other food items when handling rice

Cross contamination of different foods is reduced as the robot handles creating rice sheets instead of any operator that may have left food particles from other ingredients on their hands.

Sushi Robot Impact

Business Details


Size of restaurant

3 locations in Southern California: Downey, Pomona and La Puente


How many seats

140-200 seats each


Average cover per day

120 covers a day per location

Robots in use

Maki Maker ASM865A


How many sushi staff per shift

2-3 sushi staff


How many rolls or sushi served per day

80-120 rolls a day per location

Restaurant Operation with Sushi Robots


Overall Restaurant Operation

Overall Restaurant Operation

What kind of sushi is offered?

Specialty Mexican Sushi with a variety of non-traditional implementations like cheese, jalapenos, and deep-fried.

How many different sushi rolls are on the menu?

21 Different Rolls

What services are offered: Dine-in, take-out, etc?

Dine-in and take-out


Acceptance of Sushi Robot

Acceptance of Sushi Robot

What was your kitchen’s initial thoughts about using a Sushi Robot?

Kitchen staff were initially opposed to using the robots as they feared it would decrease their shifts.

What made them accept Sushi Robots into your operation?

Kitchen staff quickly came around after realizing the Sushi Robots are tools for faster service and more money that cannot replace a human operator. They realized that with the efficiency of the Robot, they can get more vacation time and have security that when they return, they will still have work to return to.

What were customer’s impression of your use of a Sushi Robot?

Customers are interested and intrigued by the use of Sushi Robots. Frank has brought interested customers behind the sushi bar to try making sushi themselves.


Sushi Operation

Sushi Operation

How sushi rice is made

Sushi rice is cooked in a large Renai rice cooker in the back kitchen, and prepared with sushi seasonings by hand in a large wooden oke before being brought out to the sushi counter in the front-of-house.

How sushi is made with Sushi Robots

The ASM865A is positioned behind the sushi counter, for chefs to quickly turn around and pick-up a rice sheet when ready. The rice sheet with nori is placed onto the sushi counter, where the toppings are quickly laid out, and then rolled with a special whip-like makisu technique. The completed roll is passed to the second sushi chef at the station who will place it into the deep-fryer or oven to be baked if necessary and cut, plate and dress it with sauces.

How many people at the sushi station

2-3 sushi chefs




Tres Quesos Roll

Avocado, beef, and shrimp inside. Crab, cream cheese, monetary cheese, and Cheddar cheese outside. 

Emperador Roll 

Cream cheese, avocado, and shrimp inside. Tasty spicy kanikama, eel sauce, and sesame seeds with our delicious cilantro sauce on the side.