STORY BEHIND THE SUCCESS
Our business was well underway but suddenly the coronavirus spread. We started our delivery business facing many hardships and challenges in order to protect our many physical locations and staff.
■ Go to the delivery business
We now have a total of 1,650 franchise outlets, making us the largest in Japan in terms of the number of delivering outlets developed.
Originally, before the COVID-19, we managed more than 100 different types of restaurants, and used our know-how in attracting customers to directly managed outlets to run a parallel online customer attraction business. At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, in order to keep many of the best staff motivated in the face of a decline in the number of customers, we utilized the members of the existing outlets and their spaces as a delivery business, firstly to develop the product, operations and franchise development of “TOKYO KARAAGE AGETATE” As you know, the delivery business requires operational know-how, which is different from food and beverage know-how. In other words, it is a race against time. Furthermore, to ensure the quality of the products, all kinds of innovations are needed, including side dishes and packaging.
We spent three years of trial and error to analyze the characteristics of the new platforms, while making maximum use of delivery platforms such as UBER and Demaekan, in addition to our original know-how of attracting customers online.
Delivery businesses using IT technology were commonplace in other countries, such as foodpanda. We have a ‘delivery culture’ in Japan as well, but the penetration of modern delivery system in Japan was slower than in other countries. However, COVID-19 has driven the new delivery era.
■ Development of delivery brands
Over the past few years, we have put a lot of effort and time into developing our own brand specializing in delivery, getting fellow restaurant companies to introduce their best-selling menus as delivery brands, and receiving offers from delivery platformers to hold seminars with them. Thanks to this, our delivery menu was introduced more and more, including famous chain restaurants with lots of physical shops, and the so-called ghost restaurant format became more and more popular among young consumers. In the past, it might have seemed strange to have the signs and menus of various restaurants displayed in one shop, but this is a revolutionary development in Japan and a style in which restaurants help each other and evolve while making the most of their individuality will become indispensable in the future. Consumers, especially those who use online ordering for delivery, are happy as long as the food they choose is delivered tasty and quickly and with just a smartphone operation.
■ Inbound and outbound
Overseas tourists are gradually returning to Japan. We will continue to gain sales with our expertise. “Ken-chan Curry”, which started in Australia, is now growing steadily in Malaysia. I believe it is time to accelerate the outbound process, which we have been steadily promoting for the past ten years. Japanese curry has a real depth of flavor and is a good match for countries where rice is the staple food. Furthermore, curries can be served with many variations and combinations of toppings. In the future, we aim to promote Japanese foods worldwide through a number of delivery brands, including the delivery brand “TOKYO KARAAGE AGETATE” and we are currently making preparations for this ambition.
There should be a possibility for restaurants to start new menus from delivery and conduct marketing research in the opposite direction to what has been done in the past, to gain fans and at the same time to create real outlets from the delivery menu. We are also convinced that our business model and know-how in delivering better tasting food in the simplest possible way and in the shortest possible time, developed through our delivery brands, will work around the world.
■ Our values to the world
We want to make the food and beverage industry once again a position to be proud of, based on our slogan: “Keep updating the entire food and beverage industry” by constantly motivating our excellent staff, to provide good products and services in Japan and abroad.
In the context of COVID-19, a number of delivery brands have been launched by companies completely unrelated to food and drink industry, but many of which have disappeared because they prioritize efficiency.
Our strengths lie in “our know-how in the pursuit of culinary delights” and “our marketing know-how leveraging IT technology. We continue to enhance our brands by balancing these two strengths.
Furthermore, as we have the largest number of outlets in Japan in terms of delivery, we have been asked by various mega-companies to develop products for delivery, and we are looking to the future and striving to put smiles on our customers’ faces. We will continue to conduct various trials with many companies in the future. To make people around the world smile with our proud Japanese foods!
After finishing the interview
I found that it takes a lot of hard work and passion to overcome the adversity of COVID-19 and turn it into a positive in the form of food delivery business and become the largest number of delivery franchisees in Japan. I had the opportunity to listen to President Otsuka of Globridge speak at several lectures with delivery platformers and learn from him each time. I look forward to seeing how his business will continue to evolve in the future.
President: Makoto Ohtsuka
Established: September, 2008
Delivery franchisees: 1,650
Location: Tensho Office Akasaka 701, 2-14-11 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo