Excelent Japanese franchise packages and licenses to the world.
Excellent Japanese franchise packages and licenses to the world

Gyukatsu Kyoto Katsugyu

We interviewed Mr. Hon Tegi, President of the GORIP Group, who launched a new Japanese food business, "Gyukatsu Kyoto Katsugyu", which has never been seen before. Now that COVID-19 has settled down, the momentum is unstoppable and inquiries are pouring in from all over the world.

Nakanishi:" Gyukatsu Kyoto Katsugyu" has been steadily increasing the number of outlets both in Japan and overseas under the catchphrase " Spreading Gyukatsu from Kyoto to the World " and is now moving forward with the win Story as the brand name suggests. Could you tell us about the history of your company so far.

Hon: We are still in the middle of the way, and I think we are just at the starting point. It took us a long time to reach the Kyoto Katsugyu brand. When our company was founded, we started with the Korean samgyeopsal business. Based on the concept of wrapping pork and toppings together with sunchu, we were able to create a thriving restaurant by offering customers 1,000 different combinations and variations. What I was careful and conscious of at the time was that I put a lot of effort into staff training, such as how to serve customers and how to explain foods to them, in order to make the restaurant properly grounded without being influenced by the fad of the Korean boom. In order to differentiate ourselves from other restaurants, we produced many samgyeopsal evangelists in our company, and by desperately building up our service style so that we would not end up in the trend-setting business, we were able to do profitable business in all of our restaurants. However, food is culture and economy itself, and we found ourselves at a crossroads as we were suffering from poor performance and the existence of several unprofitable restaurants due to the major impact of social issues among internationals.

Nakanishi: Your first main ingredient was Korean cuisine with pork. I assume that it was not easy to switch from that to Japanese cuisine with beef. What was the turning point for you?

Hon: Through various trial and error, while also getting hints from a meat wholesaler I was doing business with at the time, I came across the content of "aged beef".
It was beef that had been aged in a special environment called "dry aging" for about 45 days to increase and condense its flavor, and it was like a gemstone. It was quite tasty and I felt it would be good. The timing was right before the "aged meet" boom, so we were able to launch the aged beef business at the best time. While conducting marketing research to find a new challenge after that, the content of "Tonkatsu" caught my attention. Both Japanese people and visitors to Japan from overseas love "Tonkatsu. So, we thought that if we fried "beef" instead of "pork" and made it into a "Gyukatsu", it would be great. We also made numerous samples thinking that if we could win over half of the Tonkatsu fans, we would win. When a convincing Katsugyu was completed, we were convinced that we could win. I thought we could create a new possibility for Japanese food by serving it not as a Western-style cutlet but as a "Japanese Gyukatsu" with wasabi and soy sauce in a Japanese-style restaurant with white wood as the base color. Our staff, who had been evangelists for samgyeopsal, now became evangelists for Gyukatsu as well, seriously promoting this new type of food called Gyukatsu, which is unfamiliar in Japan. Customers were puzzled by the unfamiliarity of Gyukatsu, but were surprised by its taste, which exceeded their imagination, it soon became one of the hottest restaurants among local customers. In addition, an influencer with a huge number of followers in Korea who happened to visit our restaurant was so impressed by the taste and sent out a comment. This led to a steady increase in customers from Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other countries around the world, and since then our reputation has been spreading at an accelerated pace.

Nakanishi: Could you tell us what you are particularly focusing on?

Hon: We are quite conscious of "extraordinary," which is our starting point. In other words, we are trying to provide value that is different from a meal at home. We have always placed great importance on how we can provide our customers with a "cultural experience" when they visit our restaurants. This will not change no matter what type of business we develop.
We also promote the brand value of "Kyoto origin," which is the most powerful brand value for inbound customers. The three elements of "Kyoto x Japanese food x Japanese beef" are the strongest content for inbound customers. We are always branding with this in mind.

Nakanishi: So, tourists who visit Japan have become fans of Gyukatsu, and inquiries about opening a restaurant in their country are increasing? That would be the ideal pattern. What would you like to tell your future international partners?

Hon: We currently have 60 restaurants in Japan and 23 overseas. We operate in eight countries: Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia. We have received inquiries from overseas more than 20 countries, some by e-mail and phone. We are also surprised that some people come to our restaurant and directly ask us, "I want to open Katsugyu in my country! Beef is acceptable for people in countries where pork is religiously forbidden. Speaking from a business standpoint, we have found that it can generate more revenue per customer than pork or chicken. What we want to tell our future partners is: "We believe more strongly in the potential of Gyukatsu than anyone else, and now it is certainly spreading around the world. If you analyze the brands that are recognized around the world, they are recognized globally when the number of restaurants reaches 500 worldwide. Our goal is to reach 500 restaurants by 2033. We dream that one day [GYUKATSU] will be established as a standard Japanese food like [SUSHI], [TEMPURA], and [RAMEN], and we are waiting to meet partners who can join hands with us to realize this dream. Why don't you join us and spread Gyukatsu more and more throughout the world?"

Comment by the interviewer

I was really surprised when I had Gyukatsu from Kyoto Katsugyu as it was a new way to enjoy beef.
This is a brand that we can expect to conquer the world in the future.