Sydney Restaurants Raja and Izakaya Tempura Kuon Close Amid Rising Costs and Changing Consumer Behavior

Two popular Sydney restaurants, Raja and Izakaya Tempura Kuon, have closed due to rising costs and changing consumer behavior, highlighting the broader challenges facing the hospitality industry.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
Updated On
New Update
Sydney Restaurants Raja and Izakaya Tempura Kuon Close Amid Rising Costs and Changing Consumer Behavior

Sydney Restaurants Raja and Izakaya Tempura Kuon Close Amid Rising Costs and Changing Consumer Behavior

Two popular Sydney restaurants, Raja restaurant and Izakaya Tempura Kuon, have announced their closures due to rising costs and changing consumer behavior in the challenging economic conditions faced by the hospitality industry. Raja, a hatted modern-Indian newcomer, and Izakaya Tempura Kuon, a niche Japanese izakaya, are the latest establishments to succumb to the pressures of the current economic climate, which has significantly impacted the restaurant and hospitality sector.

Raja, a modern Indian restaurant with a Good Food Guide hat, will serve its final meal on May 4 after only nine months of operation. The owners, Nick and Kirk Mathews-Bowden, struggled to make ends meet since January due to the rising cost of living, which has reduced the frequency of dining out for many customers. Additionally, the restaurant's operational costs, including a tripled electricity bill, have made it unsustainable.

Izakaya Tempura Kuon, a highly specialized Japanese tempura restaurant, will also close at the end of April. Owner Kenny Lee cites the perceived health aspect of deep-fried tempura as part of the problem, despite his efforts to use high-quality ingredients and imported Japanese oil. Lee plans to reboot the izakaya concept in a larger space, with only 20% of the menu dedicated to tempura.

Why this matters: The closures of Raja and Izakaya Tempura Kuon highlight the broader challenges facing the hospitality industry in Sydney and beyond. As businesses struggle with rising costs and shifting consumer preferences amid a challenging economic environment, the future of many restaurants remains uncertain.

These closures come amid a broader trend of restaurant shutdowns in Sydney, including the loss of Josh Niland's Charcoal Fish and Fish Butchery, the Porteno team's Bastardo CBD location and Wyno X Bodega, and Cornersmith in Annandale. The co-owner of Raja cited the industry becoming "tighter and tighter and tighter" as a reason for the closure. The hospitality industry is facing a range of challenges, including rising food and beverage costs, decreased customer spending, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Takeaways

  • Two popular Sydney restaurants, Raja and Izakaya Tempura Kuon, are closing due to rising costs.
  • Raja, a hatted modern-Indian restaurant, will close after 9 months due to increased operating costs.
  • Izakaya Tempura Kuon, a Japanese tempura restaurant, will close due to perceived health concerns.
  • The closures highlight broader challenges facing the hospitality industry, including decreased customer spending.
  • The article notes a broader trend of restaurant shutdowns in Sydney amid the challenging economic climate.