Would you like to hear me out? Akindo (merchant) anecdote of Tsutomu Yodoi, the founder of Idea Co., Ltd., a restaurant company that has the strength of being a pilot and a manager.

Nice to meet you. My name is Idea Co., Ltd.
Idea Co., Ltd.
[Would you like to hear me out? ] Akindo (merchant) anecdote of Tsutomu Yodoi, the founder of Idea Co., Ltd., a restaurant company that has the strength of being a pilot and a manager.
Ryusuke Yodoi, who is his son, tells the story of the 36-year history of the long-established store, which believes in “long-term management rather than multiple store development.”

Nice to meet you everyone!
We, IDEA Co., Ltd. (Idea Shin-Osaka Building, 5-3-52 Miyahara, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka) operate a number of restaurants that offer unique and product-out cuisine mainly in Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hyogo. It is a company that operates various real estate rental businesses nationwide.
Our company was founded in 1985 as a real estate business and product sales company by Tsutomu Yodoi, who was working as an active international pilot captain.
In the following year, 1986, he opened “Miyazaki Jidori
Charcoal-grilled Kuruma Hotarugaike Store”, and for 36 years since then, he has been serving “good food” that cannot be tasted elsewhere. Rather than building 100 stores, let’s create a store that will last for over 100 years.”
Yodoi, who has his last flight on December 15, 2022, will retire from his job as an airline pilot after 43 years of service. From now on, we will shift to the second phase, where we will focus on IDEA Co., Ltd.’s business.
This time, we have invited a professional writer, Ryusuke Yodoi, Yodoi’s son and director, to talk about his father Tsutomu’s journey so far in an interview format.
Pursue and achieve both dreams of being an international flight captain and an owner-manager
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With the aircraft that served as captain
―Your father, Mr. Tsutomu Yodoi, founded Idea while working as an international flight captain for a major airline, and has been running the company for 36 years. First of all, please tell us about the background leading up to the founding of the company.
Ryusuke Yodoi (hereafter referred to as Ryusuke): My father first wanted to be an airplane pilot when he was in elementary school. It all started when my grandfather, who was an Osaka tram driver at the time, took me to see airplanes.
After that, while dreaming of becoming a pilot, he also had a strong desire to start a business! .
However, it is impossible to start both at the same time. So I first entered the Ministry of Transport Aviation College, the only pilot training institution at the time, and chose to become a pilot. “Let’s start a business after taking off into the sky.” So my father decided and stepped into the path of a pilot.
―It’s a very rational and convincing priority, but it’s hard to find people who can take action to achieve both.
Ryusuke: Yes. Considering the background of the times, it was a time when side jobs and independence were not as common as they are now, and my grandfather, who was a civil servant, apparently could not understand my father’s ideas at all (laughs). But my father does both. Established Idea Co., Ltd. in 1985 while still working as an aviation engineer. Initially started real estate and product sales business. Anyway, I hear that trial and error was used to verify what kind of business could be continued for a long time.
Meanwhile, I met my mother in Miyazaki Prefecture, where the Aviation College is located. This is my first encounter with the restaurant industry.
My mother’s brother runs a yakitori restaurant, and the Miyazaki specialty charcoal-grilled free-range chicken thigh, commonly known as ‘momo-yaki’, was excellent.
Around the same time, a senior colleague who ran a restaurant in Osaka asked if he would like to take over the restaurant. My father decided to take over the management and open a restaurant, saying, “Osaka doesn’t have a culture of grilled thighs, so it’s worth doing!” That is Idea Co., Ltd.’s first store, Miyazaki Jidori Charcoal-grilled Kuruma Hotarugaike Store.
My father himself has never held a kitchen knife or waited on customers in the hall. In the first place, since I am a pilot, I cannot always be in the store. Therefore, I decided to run the company as a professional customer, and decided that my mother and grandmother would stand at the store when it was first established.
It’s a surprise story now, but it seems that at that time, I was carrying my newborn sister and I on my back.
Unfamiliar restaurant management forced a long-term struggle, but thought and ingenuity improved the current situation and turned around [Image 2d8893-76-bd96cc980bd71147297d-7.jpg&s3=8893-76-6a9c40950fd911caf2f4cac3bd9edf68-1672x1254.jpg
At a dinner with business partners (From the far right, director Ryusuke Yodoi, founder Tsutomu Yodoi, and executive)
―Restaurant management started with a series of chance encounters. Did you have any difficulties?
Ryusuke: I heard that at first, partly because of the low level of awareness of “momo-yaki”, sales weren’t very good, and we were in the red for eight years. Even so, he said, “The employee’s family is also Idea’s family. I have a duty to protect it.”
At that time, there were no websites or SNS, so my father would walk around the city saying, “The restaurant called ‘Kuruma’ was
delicious!” I asked people, “I heard that there is a delicious yakitori restaurant called ‘Kuruma’ in this neighborhood. Do you know?” I was trying.
It was also a big factor that my mother and grandmother became so popular that they were called “two famous mothers”.
Due to these various factors, the restaurant gradually gained fans and became a local restaurant.
-It’s a very unrefined and hot story. Idea has increased the number of unique business formats and stores mainly in Osaka, but is there something like a strength because Mr. Tsutomu is a pilot?
Ryusuke: This is related to one of our company’s philosophies, “Provide ‘good food’ that can’t be tasted elsewhere.”
As I mentioned earlier, my father can’t hold a kitchen knife and has never served customers. Instead, as a pilot, you can travel to various regions both domestically and internationally.
Is it possible to make such a menu using those ingredients? I want to make a store using this ingredient! In this way, my father’s strength and greatest strength is his ability to find opportunities to develop menus and stores rooted in the idea of ​​”delivering ‘good food’ that can’t be tasted elsewhere” from fresh ingredients found in various places. You can say it’s work.
Also, since my father can’t stand in the store, one of my strengths is that I can always look at things from the customer’s point of view. After returning from the flight, we look around our store from the customer’s point of view. Whether the taste has changed or whether the customer service has deteriorated. Thoroughly.
It truly embodies the second philosophy, “Everything is for the customer’s excitement and happiness.”
I believe that my father’s greatest strength lies in his ability to make effective use of the working environment of being a pilot and to never stop thinking. In fact, it seems that there are times when a good idea suddenly comes to mind while flying in the sky.
Focusing on the management of Idea Co., Ltd. after retirement. Considering overseas expansion in the future
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Purification ceremony held at Arancino OSAKA, an authentic Italian restaurant from Hawaii
―What kind of development do you have in mind for the future? Ryusuke: First of all, since my father retired from being a pilot in December, he is now able to spend more time than before.
Are the customers really enjoying themselves? As a business owner, I would like to thoroughly apply my beliefs from the customer’s point of view.
We are also looking to expand overseas. Through his experience as an international flight pilot, my father learned about differences in food culture, customs, and lifestyles that could not be picked up by Japanese media alone. can be dropped into
We will utilize these strengths to manage and operate restaurants overseas. We have already decided to visit LA, New York and London. -I’m really looking forward to the future! What is Ryusuke’s impression of Tsutomu?
Ryusuke: In a nutshell, it’s craftsmanship.
Our third philosophy, “Rather than building 100 stores, let’s create a store that will last for over 100 years.”
Rather than expanding rapidly in a short period of time, he is a person who will take time to establish a store that incorporates their own thoughts and beliefs and take root in the community, and manage it honestly and politely for a long time.
But there is also flexibility. A place that quickly responds to changes in work styles and social structures, such as remote work and the establishment of web conferences due to the corona crisis. Also, she has great decisiveness and decisiveness. For example, in July 2020, we decided to withdraw from 4 stores in the Ginza and Shinjuku areas where sales cannot be expected to recover due to the balance with the rent.
However, I was attached to each store, and in order to avoid such a situation, I acted without giving up until the end, so I was really disappointed when there was a store that had no choice but to withdraw.
Still looking forward, thinking about what to do next. It’s really amazing that you can’t stop thinking.
―The story of Mr. Tsutomu, who has such a craftsmanship, was conveyed this time as if it were a founding story…
Ryusuke: It’s our family (laughs). My father has always looked up to charismatic business owners such as Soichiro Honda, Konosuke Matsushita, and Masayoshi Son, who are well-known in the world. . Of course, due to his popularity as a long-serving pilot, an unprecedented number of people (approximately 100 people) gathered at his retirement party.
With such morality and passion, my father, who is an excellent manager, will surely be able to deliver bright news to the world, where there is a lot of dark news these days.
Therefore, you should go out into the world. should know more. We think so. About five years ago, I kept telling her, “It’s okay to go out. You’re not old enough to be teased.”
―Then, what about the next interview?
Ryusuke: Let’s have him tell the story from his own mouth. We will pull it out (laughs). Please listen to the story of a very funny old man!
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Idea Co., Ltd.
https://idea-co.jp/
Founded in 1986. Under the slogan, “Provide something you can’t taste anywhere else,” Miyazaki Jidori charcoal-grilled car is a restaurant specializing in free-range chicken dishes with its original brand “Kagura Tori,” which pursues hospitality that connects hearts with dishes that cannot be tasted elsewhere. “Miyazaki Jidori and Seasonal Vegetables Tori Kagura”, “Torisho Ren”, and “Teppanya Kamigata Mido” and “Teppanya Kanro”, restaurants specializing in teppanyaki with the concept of combining the best of both okonomiyaki and teppanyaki restaurants, Hawaii is visited by many celebrities. Operates a total of 7 brands of food and drink business, including the Japanese branch of the authentic Italian restaurant “Arancino” and the LA-style authentic sundubu specialty store “OKKII”. As of 2023, all 25 stores in 4 locations in Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, and Tokyo are under direct management, and we are developing “stores that will be loved for 100 years”.
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