Food service List of examples

A long-established souvenir shop where 90% of the customers are tourists takes on the challenge of creating a cafe that appeals to local residents.

Many industries have been badly hit by the pandemic, but the food and beverage and tourist industries have been particularly affected. Ippukudo in Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, is no exception. In business for seventy-two years, the company runs a souvenir shop and eateries in front of Yugawara Station.

However, in the summer of 2022, it opted for a different approach and opened Yugawara Cafe, which has its own coworking space equipped with both work desks and private rooms for videoconferencing. We asked company representative Tomomi Goto about this new venture for Ippukudo, which continues to maintain its presence in front of Yugawara Station.

Ramen, reborn! Popular ramen shop returns as a food truck after being forced to close due to the pandemic.

After more than 50 years in business, Ajiyoshi, one of Sendai’s well-established and well-loved ramen shops, closed on April 18, 2020. Located in Kokubuncho, the biggest nightlife district in Tohoku, this shop always stayed open late to offer a “closing” bowl of ramen after a night out drinking, until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Ajiyoshi closed despite the protests from its many loyal customers, but Tsuyoshi Ujiie, who worked side-by-side with the founder throughout its peak years, couldn’t ignore his passion for the restaurant industry. We talked with Ujiie about his journey leading up to when Ajiyoshi reopened as a food truck, and his commitment to their many loyal fans.

Shops open in Tokyo with aim of making Toge no Kamameshi kettle rice an everyday dish, attracting new fans during the pandemic

Oginoya began in 1885 as a ekiben (“station bento”) shop selling omusubi rice balls at Yokokawa Station in Gunma Prefecture. Oginoya’s flagship bento meal, a kettle rice dish called Toge no Kamameshi, was conceived in 1957 by the company’s fourth-generation owner. Defying conventional wisdom, the meal was sold in ceramic pots while still warm, and quickly became the standard for ekiben throughout Japan. Ever since Toge no Kamameshi was launched nearly 70 years ago, Oginoya has helped make many travelers’ journeys that much more memorable. As with other tourism-related businesses, however, it has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke with Keizo Urano, deputy general manager of Oginoya’s Tokyo-region division, about how the company came to open Oginoya Gen (Chiyoda City, Tokyo), a new shop in the Yurakucho district, at such a time, and about its future prospects.

Italian restaurant opens during the pandemic and launches a consignment cooking service for publicity.

Trattoria e pizzeria Cosa mangi? opened in April 2020 in the center of Sapporo, the prefectural capital of Hokkaido. Owner and chef Nishimura Kosuke, who learned his trade in Rome and Sicily, started the restaurant after 10 years of planning, in the hope that Japanese diners could enjoy an informal approach to authentic Italian food. With the threat of coronavirus fast approaching, Mr. Nishimura came up with a novel method of getting his business up and running. The restaurant launched a takeout consignment service, cooking food on request using ingredients brought in by the customers. We spoke with Mr. Nishimura about how he has kept the restaurant going while enduring states of emergency and grappling with measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

While main restaurant business slows, company develops smartphone-focused reservation, order, and payment system that is ideal for the coronavirus age, resulting in new business line

Ishida Masanori, CEO of Ishida Shoji Co., Ltd., operates four abura soba noodle shops near Waseda University. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurants were always full of life, with students eating at them every day. However, after the university was forced to close its campuses, the steady stream of customers suddenly dried up. With business slow, Mr. Ishida decided to develop a system that would allow customers to make reservations, order food and drinks, and pay using their own smartphones instead of in-store tablet terminals. We spoke with Mr. Ishida about the system, which is ideally suited for the coronavirus age, and the next-generation restaurant he opened during the pandemic, Teppan Oyazy (Musashino City, Tokyo).

Restaurant reduces crowding through introduction of “dynamic pricing” that adjusts prices depending on time of day

The most distinctive feature of Oshokuji-dokoro Asatte, a very popular restaurant in the Kita-sando district (Shibuya City, Tokyo), is its menu, which consists solely of one set meal that changes day to day. This successful eatery is frequented by people of all ages and a line of customers waiting to get in was, until recently, not an uncommon sight at lunchtime. However, in March 2020 the store was forced to close due to the outbreak of coronavirus. We spoke with the restaurant about the “dynamic pricing” initiative it has introduced to protect customers, staff members, and the restaurant itself during the pandemic.

Utilizing various business formats to launch new food delivery service with French toast prepared at izakaya restaurants.

RedefineDining Co., Ltd. (Shibuya City, Tokyo) is the company behind the izakaya eatery chain Motsukichi and high-end bakery Dondake Jikochu. The company's new service, home delivery of Dondake Jikochu bread products baked at Motsukichi outlets, is attracting a lot of attention. We spoke with Mr. Toshin, an executive at RedefineDining, about the company’s so-called “ghost restaurant” venture, a brand goods sales initiative that emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and requires no brick-and-mortar store.

Experience authentic yakitori at home with “Veranding Toriko.”

Tokyo Restaurants Factory Co., Ltd. (Meguro, Tokyo) is the company behind the izakaya restaurant chain Toriko. With so few people choosing to dine out due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company launched online sales of its “Yakitori Meal Kit,” a set of chicken skewers and a special grill that allows customers to enjoy authentic yakitori at home. Cumulative sales of the kit surpassed 10,000 units in January 2021. We spoke with Takahara Masahiro from the company’s e-commerce division about the new initiative.

Effective use of downtime after lunch – Exploring new possibilities for bars and restaurants by renting out tables as telework spaces

Places to eat and drink, especially those that mainly open at night, are struggling because of the restrictions on opening hours imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the midst of this, a promising new service has emerged. Launched by Wine Bar ESOLA Shinjuku, it offers business people the use of telework space within its restaurant area. We spoke with the manager, Mr. Hidaka, about the new service and the hurdles he faced in launching it.

Six Gotanda eateries join forces to launch “Gotanda Eats,” a food delivery service with no delivery charge.

“Gotanda Eats” is a new service in which small restaurants deliver food using their own staff, free of delivery charges (customers pay a 100-yen-per-item service charge). At the heart of the venture is Oriental Foods, based in Tokyo’s Shinagawa City. The company, well-known for running a university food court that is said to be the best in the country, is also behind the Gotanda restaurant Tokyo Kitchen. Under the banners of “Aiming for added value with more than just food” and “Connecting with the community through food,” the company is attracting attention from across Japan’s food and beverage industry.

Noodle shop succeeds in avoiding “Three Cs” – closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings – and attracting new fans with reception desk and wait-your-turn system.

Chuka Soba Takano(Shinagawa-ku,Tokyo) is popular for its soup, which is characterized by the deliciousness of its seafood and meat dashi stock, and its first-class noodles, which are famed for their aroma, springiness, and texture. This ramen shop has won so many fans that there is always a line of customers outside waiting to eat. However, with the shop having adopted a wait-your-turn system, the lines have disappeared. “People lining up is proof of our popularity, but customer safety is our top priority,” says the owner, Ms. Takano, when asked about the new waiting system and its impact.

The taste of Finland, at the café or at home – creating new demand through Instagram

The Robert's Coffee Chitose Karasuyama Café(Setagaya-ku,Tokyo) opened in April 2019. It is the first Tokyo café for Robert’s Coffee, the largest coffee chain in Finland, a leading coffee-loving nation. Located in the popular residential area of Chitose Karasuyama, the café offers a relaxing space that has steadily attracted more and more customers. After about a year of smooth sailing, unprecedented chaos struck in the form of coronavirus. With life having changed for so many people, what was Robert's Coffee's new strategy to be?

Restaurant introduces first-ever contactless system.
Ordering from the table via smartphone puts diners at ease.

Café restaurant Park Community Kibaco(Koto-ku,Tokyo) opened in Kiba Park on August 7, 2020. “Kibaco” stands for “Kiba community” and the aim of the restaurant is to create a community space where customers can feel at ease even during the current coronavirus pandemic. As part of this effort, the restaurant has installed a state-of-the-art ordering system.

Superfood green papaya has been commercialized! With the opening of an e-commerce site, sales of the fruit have gone from a café of 10 seats to nationwide.

Som Tum Caffe specializes in the Thai-style green papaya salad known as som tum. Green papaya is believed to be the only food rich in catabolic enzymes. This remarkable fruit is gaining attention as a detoxifier and immunity booster. Health-conscious customers returned again and again to Som Tum Caffe, which, since opening in September 2019 in the Tokyo office district of Tamachi, had been doing well.