Tsubohachi Co., Ltd.
Tsubohachi Co., Ltd., the parent company of which is one of the leading meat trading companies in Japan, has shown great abilities in the meat industry overseas, and is putting great emphasis on developing franchise in Southeast Asia. Currently, the company provides a system that incorporates the know-how acquired over 45 years in Japan with consulting services in Vietnam under the direction of Mr. Hidefumi Eguchi, Director of Overseas Development Division. Here is an interview with him.
Power of the team
Currently, we are developing the three brands overseas – Tsubohachi (izakaya), ITO-KACHO (yakiniku) and Taisho-Tei (ramen and gyoza) -, and plan to open yakitori and donburi (rice bowl) brands in the future.
Now the number of stores currently being expanded overseas is totally 16 – 12 in Thailand, 2 in Singapore, 1 in Malaysia and 1 in Indonesia. We are expanding into Vietnam with a consultant contract. Our staff is stationed in Thailand and we are planning to send one staff to Vietnam soon.In the meantime, we would like to solidify the foundation by developing in East Asian countries.
In order to put the store in orbit, it is necessary to take the following steps: (1) concept, schedule meeting, (2) store layout, (3) selection of ingredients and fixtures, (4) menu creation, (5) opening preparation, (6) OJT after opening, (7) regular guidance, (8) management accounting, (9) kaizen (improvement) work.
There are many companies that adopt a person who has experience in cooking in Japan and rely on the power of that “individual” to enter new business, but it is difficult for one person to cover all the functions. Meanwhile our franchise system is to provide those functions as “team”.
In addition, personnel who are accredited by Japan Franchise Association are in charge of guidance at our company.
Between the ideal and reality
There are still many people who believe that “even if we bring the Japanese food culture as it is, it will be popular and acceptable locally”, but In fact it is necessary to arrange menus while constantly conscious of the business style that meets local needs.
It is necessary to catch the local needs firmly and respond them and it is also essential to constantly propose new menus to consumers.
Tips for grasping customers overseas
In Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, etc., “Have you eaten?” is a greeting. From this greeting the feelings of caring for people through food are transmitted.
From this greeting the feelings of caring for people through food are transmitted. Even in any country, if salary goes up, everyone goes to eat a good meal which is the most familiar entertainment.
In Japan, meat and fish are feasts, but in hot countries “fresh fish” is not so distributed so the middle class people tend to avoid raw fish because they are not used to eating it. On the other hand, the livestock that can be eaten by the region is different for religious reasons but meat is still a treat.
The parent company of Tsubohachi Co., Ltd. is one of the leading meat trading companies and has various networks in many countries. By making full use of these networks, business types such as Yakiniku brand “ITO-KACHO” are growing.
Possibility of Southeast Asia
Currently in Vietnam, we are starting consulting business of local brands but not franchising. Brand is important, but building the taste and operation that can endure the trust of customers is the most important.
We offer systems that incorporate the expertise we have cultivated over 45 years in Japan with consulting services In Vietnam. Now we have many inquiries from Asian countries and think that more characteristic business types are more likely. Among them, the meat industry, which is our strength, is one of the major needs, and we would like to specialize in this category.