EPARK Gourmet Co., Ltd.
The lifeline of restaurants in shrines and temples tourist spots “Productivity improvement” DX latest case “Utilizing “EPARK system solution” to solve turnover issue”
-Ikkyuan Co., Ltd. “Unagi Hitsumabushi Sumiyagura”-
EPARK Gourmet Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Toshima-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Hiroki Shiraishi), which develops a waiting system business for restaurants, focuses on companies that continue to grow. Through coverage of prosperous stores that have introduced the EPARK waiting system, we have released an introduction example at Ikkyuan Co., Ltd., saying that it can contribute to the development of the entire food and beverage industry by transmitting tips for management and success. [Image 1
table of contents
・Rapid growth in shrine and temple tourism business
・Selection and concentration on business formats that can continue to win even in the corona crisis
・Eel/Hitsumabushi Sumiyagura strength
・The reason why EPARK is the best choice is the track record of stable operation at large-scale chain stores
・Significant contribution to strengthening the weekend provision system and increasing the turnover rate
・The chasm that long-established companies should cross
Rapid growth in shrine and temple tourism business
Ikkyuuan Co., Ltd. (President: Satoshi Kamikawa) is a long-established company that has been in business for 45 years. Based on the relationship of trust with historical temples such as “Saimyoji” and “Kongorinji” of Koto Sanzan (*), the company’s name was derived from “a tea house where you can take a break in the precincts”.
From the late 1970s to the early Heisei era, rapid growth was centered on souvenir shops and tourism in the shrines and temples of Koto Sanzan and their surrounding locations. During the fall foliage season, 800 visitors flocked every day.
After that, we accelerated diversification and expanded to 40 stores as a wedding hall, a banquet hall, a liquor business, and a
restaurant. We have accumulated experience and know-how by developing a wide range of business types, from vegetarian cuisine to creative cuisine, yakiniku, eel, soba, pork cutlet, and ramen.
Sumiyagura Omihachiman Store Manager Kawai and EPARK ticket vending machine Selection and concentration on business formats that can continue to win even during the corona crisis
Currently, the business has been narrowed down to 7 stores, but it is said that the management policy of diversifying investment while adapting to changes in the environment and hedging risks is still useful after the corona disaster.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus, the tourism business has been forced to shrink, but the restaurant business, especially the yakiniku and eel business, has not been affected, and continues to grow and support the company.
The yakiniku (Kalbi-ya Daifuku) business format is growing along with the market, but the competitive environment is intensifying as more major restaurant companies enter the market through business format conversions, etc., taking advantage of COVID-19. Although there is an intention to open new stores due to the strong performance, we are cautious due to the restrictions on commercial areas of franchises and the need for capital investment compared to other formats.
On the other hand, the eel business also has a competitive advantage of its own procurement route and traditional sauce. Because it is charcoal-fired, it is not easily affected by soaring energy prices. [Image 3
Unagi Hitsumabushi Sumiyagura’s strength
He was fascinated by the taste of hitsumabushi that his predecessor ate when he visited Nagoya, and wanted people in Shiga to know this wonderful taste, so he trained at a famous restaurant while passing on the recipe and taste (sauce). That was the reason for starting the eel business (Sumiyagura).
It has been 20 years since it opened in Omihachiman, but it is said that it took a lot of hard work until it was recognized and took root. The good taste and cost performance have spread by word of mouth, mainly among locals, and on weekdays, local customers come for the eel of the restaurant, and on Saturdays and Sundays, they visit the restaurant after sightseeing. The parking lot was overflowing with customers who couldn’t even fit in the big box store.
About 5 years ago, we improved the supply system by expanding purchases and strengthening the grillers, realizing a stable supply. . After that, how to improve the turnover rate during business hours was the biggest issue.
The reason why the EPARK system is the only choice is the track record of stable operation at large-scale chain stores
As a countermeasure for the turnover rate, we set our sights on the waiting system and began to consider the equipment, but in the selection process, stable operation was already confirmed at a famous conveyor belt sushi chain in the neighborhood, and another business format (Kalbi-ya Daifuku), which was also crowded. Mr. Kawai said that it was almost the only choice for EPARK, which had a track record of introduction in.
At the same store, which welcomes thousands of customers every month, the reliability and stable operation record of the system
infrastructure that can withstand a large amount of traffic were the most important elements that should be secured.
Significant contribution to strengthening the weekend provision system and increasing the turnover rate
Although it is a facility environment unique to tourist areas with a vast parking space that can accommodate multiple tour buses, there is little waiting room space for a large store with over 100 seats, so it is easy to strengthen the acceptance system. It wasn’t.
Before the introduction of EPARK, two employees were stuck at the reception and guidance, and received calls and guidance to customers waiting outside the store, but after the introduction, the situation changed completely.
Especially on weekends when there is a shortage of staff, the EPARK system automatically performs reception and phone calls, allowing the hall staff to concentrate on serving and bashing. By doing so, we succeeded in maximizing the turnover rate by increasing the speed of guidance and provision while eliminating customer dissatisfaction with waiting.
In addition, the introduction of EPARK has had a positive impact on repeat visits by local customers.
Although the restaurant only serves eel dishes, there are many families with children, and the elimination of dissatisfaction with the waiting time has a great effect on removing the barriers to returning to the main customer base, which has a large impact on sales. .
Unagi Hitsumabushi Sumiyagura Omihachiman
The chasm that long-established companies should cross
Like other long-established stores, the store has many long-time employees, and at first, there were concerns about whether DX could be used up and whether it would cause trouble for customers.
I have always felt a sense of crisis that if a restaurant does not continue indefinitely just because it is in a good location, has good facilities, and has a good taste, it will be eliminated if it does not respond to changes in the environment and increase productivity. Mr. Kawai says, “Even if it’s a long-established store, it’s important to use it little by little without fear of change.”
Even though consumers are evolving, if stores stop evolving for their own reasons, it may lead to loss of customer expectations and convenience.
In fact, that is also the chasm that long-established stores must overcome in order to evolve.
Recently, by utilizing EPARK’s unique functions, it is helping to “improve customer satisfaction”, which can be said to be the lifeline of community-based stores.
At first, the number of seats that could be reserved was limited, so when customers called us, we had no other choice but to refuse more than a certain number.
However, by using EPARK’s “specified date and time reception function”, it is possible to guide customers to EPARK at the end of the call, and it is now possible to provide polite guidance to customers while preventing opportunity loss for the store.
In fact, there are not many long-established eel restaurants that can make full use of this excellent function.
The store continues to be supported by customers as a good example of further evolution as a long-established store by not only introducing the system but also making the most of the added functions while trying them out. It is also the reason.
EPARK’s designated date and time waiting reception function (patented technology)
Finally, just like “Unagi Hitsumabushi Sumiyagura”, the EPARK queue waiting system will become an essential DX solution for restaurants in tourist spots where improving productivity with a fixed location and a fixed number of seats is a lifeline. Mr. Kawai concludes that it will continue to grow.
We look forward to seeing how the company continues to evolve as a company that will last for 50 or 100 years.
One of the scenic tourist spots that has been selected as one of the top 100 spots for autumn leaves. The general term for the three Tendai sect temples, Saimyoji, Kongorinji, and Kudaraji. The main halls of Saimyoji and Kongorinji are designated as national treasures as representative structures of the Kamakura period, and many Buddhist statues designated as important cultural properties are enshrined there. Many of the surrounding buildings are also designated as important cultural properties, making it a famous scenic spot with a long history. Around autumn every year, the grounds of the shrine are colored with vivid autumn leaves, and many tourists from Japan and abroad visit.
[Inquiries about the waiting system]
EPARK Gourmet Co., Ltd.
Ikkyuan Co., Ltd.
1-5 Ikedera, Koura Town, Inukami District, Shiga Prefecture
Unagi Hitsumabushi Sumiyagura
26 Otowacho, Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture
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