100 Yen Sushi House Case Study
Every restaurant should have its own peculiarities, something that attracts visitors to come there over and over again. Wise managers struggle to organize restaurant business so that it is not very expensive’ the food has to be not only very tasty, but also to have a reasonable price. One of such restaurants exists in the capital of Japan, Tokyo, and it is called “100 Yean Sushi House”. Its name speaks for itself: every dish, every plate of sushi costs 100 yen. It is obvious that some dishes may be more or less expensive, that is why some plates contain more portions of sushi and some of them less; nevertheless, the price of every plate of sushi remains the same.
“The 100 Yen Sushi House is no ordinary restaurant. It is an ultimate showcase of Japanese productivity. As we entered the shop, there was a chorus of “Iratsai”, a welcome from everyone working at the shop – cooks, owner and the owner’s children. The house features an ellipsoid-shaped serving area in the middle of the room, where inside three cooks were busy preparing sushi. Perhaps thirty stools surrounded serving area… there was a conveyor belt going around the serving area, like a toy train track. On it I saw a train of plates of sushi. You can find any kind of sushi you can think of from the cheapest seaweed or octopus kind to the expensive raw salmon or shrimp dishes” (Morisette, 2006).
On the other hand, 100 Yen Sushi House has a special system of total quality control, which helps managers to provide customers with the most qualitative food and conditions. There are no waiters in this restaurant, and chefs prepare food in front of the customers. There is a round table, with thirty stools around it, where the customers sit and have their sushi. This is an advantage of this restaurant, because customers may take a look at the chef’s work’ thus, there will be no problems, no question regarding the quality of products and them being fresh. It is also worth mentioning that all the products in 100 Yen Sushi House are fresh, and are not frozen to be used again, which makes them stay healthy. Besides, such a unique system of delivering dishes help the owner of the restaurant to outline, which plates were taken the most, and which were taken the least; thus, helping him to order large amounts only of such products that are used in the most popular sushi, and less quantity of that products that are used in the least popular sushi. It is worth noting that quality of food is very important for the owner of the restaurant; that is why fish for sushi is delivered several times a day, which is a prove that a customer will always get the freshest sushi with the most qualitative products. Besides, chefs and other workers of the restaurant are willing to maintain such high quality of food served in the 100 Yen Sushi House. That is why they initiated to dispose uneaten sushi.
One of the advantages of such a system is that there is no cash register, because of the cost of every plate of sushi. Special system counts how many plates a customer has taken and multiplies it by one hundred, which is also very useful and easy to operate with. Besides, customers do not have to wait for their food, because they take only food that is ready, which is very useful for the customers, especially for those, who are willing to have a snack, prefer to have healthy food, and do not have much time. Such system of delivering and presenting food made 100 Yen Sushi House the restaurant popular not only in Tokyo, but all over the country. One more advantage of such restaurant is that four chefs make one portion of sushi; thus, making every plate unique and bringing there something special. When one of the chefs cannot perform his or her work, he or she is substituted by someone else, which makes sushi unique again, because this chef brings something other, something new in every plate.
“The 100 Yen Sushi House produces and loads the same mix of sushi plates on its conveyor belt each day. The chefs make no more or no less than what is needed. When workers dispose of uneaten sushi from the conveyor belt, they must recreate the dish they threw away, this is an example of Kanban, a Japanese concept related to the improvement of production processes. At 100 Yen Sushi House, eliminating tables, waiters, ordering, variable pricing, and the wait time associated with receiving food, increase profits for its owner, and reduces idle time for busy customers” (Morisette, 2006).
Another advantage of the 100 Yen Sushi House is its staff. The restaurant is owned by a family, who created such a working atmosphere in their restaurant that every single worker feels as being a part of the big family. They all are involved in one great process that is called “serving a customer”, and as it is seen they have succeeded. This restaurant is plain and simple, which makes it attractive for the Japanese, who are tired of the modern technologies; they help customers to feel like home, greeting them and serving sushi. It is very popular with the Japanese, who are tired of the modern technologies, as well as with tourists, who are seeking something new and unusual.
Everything in this world has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the 100 Yen Sushi House is not an exception. One of the most important problems of such restaurant may become a question of hygiene. First of all, because we are all humans and every person may become sick: be it a chef of this restaurant or a customer. Obviously, every ill person may cough or sneeze; thus, bacteria will transparent to other plates with sushi. The owner of the restaurant states that this problem may be solved: for example, an ill chef will not be allowed to make sushi; he or she will be sent home to recover. Another problem may become that sea food, which gets spoilt very fast. However, the owner has an answer for this question as well. He states that a plate of sushi stays on the belt no longer than thirty minutes. Even if a dish stays there longer than thirty minutes, it is taken by a worker, who is about to have a little break. Every worker is allowed to take every dish from the belt, which encourages people to work in this restaurant. Another advantage of this restaurant is that there is no cashier desk, but there is a cashier. A cashier’s job is to say how much money a customer should pay; putting it into simple words, a cashier should count the amount of dishes and multiply it into one hundred. On the other hand, it is a great advantage that there is no cash desk in the restaurant, because no cash is stored in the restaurant, which makes it impossible to rob the 100 Yen Sushi House. On the other hand, such democratic policy of the owner may support robbery by workers, who may become greedy to something that they do not have.
The 100 Yen Sushi House is an innovation in the restaurant business; it is a unique restaurant that has no analogues in the world. Such kind of restaurants has a lot of advantages:
- There is a fixed price for all the dishes, which makes it possible and easy for a customer to count how much money he/she spent;
- A customer has an opportunity to see how his or her dish is cooked; thus, be sure that it is healthy and qualitative;
- The owner, chefs, and other staff are like a big family, which creates a nice atmosphere in the restaurant;
- Food is always fresh in this restaurant, fish is delivered several times a day, which allows to make sushi out of fresh fish and not frozen;
- Food does not stay longer than thirty minutes on the plate, even if it does, any worker has an opportunity to take it, while having a break;
- It is very popular with all the Japanese, who do not have much time to go to the expensive restaurants, but on the other hand, they do not want to eat cheap fast food which is unhealthy.
Such restaurants should appear not only in Japan, but also in other countries all over the world; businessmen should come to 100 Yen Sushi House to get experience from the owner, who is a very kind person and is willing to share his experience with others. On the other hand, there are also disadvantages, for example, such a restaurant may be robbed by its own workers, because they will feel being too free in such perfect, tolerant, and too democratic system. However, if businessmen use this unique system united with more strict rules of organizing the work, it will become not only a good way of increasing restaurant’s income, but also a perfect place for customers to eat and spend time.
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