02-Things I think at the shop

For the past 25 years, the business I’ve been involved in is the franchise business or the restaurant business.

Either one of them.
Japan or Asia, there is a difference, but…
Whether it is a service industry or a restaurant business, we still have to set up an actual shop.

In there exist a large number of employees and partners (part-timers).

The largest number of employees are with ” Restaurant Saint Marc”, where there are three to four employees and seventy part-timers.

There is always somebody in the shop during business hours of from 7:00am to 11:00pm and two hours before and after for preparation and closing.
Over 70 people working in one shop, in itself it’s another small to mid-size business…。

Each of the three employees plays politics, and they enlist accompanying partners. Kitchen and hall. This kind of sectionalism.
Various problems occur at the shops.The problem within a shop can be detected as soon as you enter the shop.

Especially the shops where communication is well developed vs those where it’s not.
Employees and partners, partners amongst themselves. Is there a shop culture which deviates from the corporate culture?
How about the shop climate?。

Every time I go to a shop, I consider this.
Shops where the internal level of communication is high have a sound and steady shop culture and the manager’s view permeates the shop.

And such a shop usually has high sales revenue
When the owner enters the shop, is his face recognized?

Does the shop manager teach about the owner?
Your first impression when you enter the shop is the same as the customer’s first impression when they enter the shop.
A shop’s financial metrics can be grasped from the data collected through POS.
what can’t be grasped from the data is very important, that’s why one goes to the shop.
Select a shop, determine the priority, and establish the frequency.
In this way, visit a shop, talk to the shop manager, and make a judgment on the shop status.   
Tasks usually carried by area managers and SV, is sometimes done by the president.
This is very significant. Identify the problems and solve them together with the shop manager and SV.
Continue this cycle.
During the Prime Link era, there were 500 shops in total and of those 70 shops were directly managed.

I visited the shops according to the method noted above. 
What had the most impact on resolving problems and improvement of the shops.
That was, as noted above, visiting the shops and social gatherings with partners (part-timers).
These were social gatherings only with me, as the president, and the part-timers. Nobody else could attend.   

The best number of participants is up to around ten. Within this range one can have a profound communication.
The part-timers were recommended by a shop manager. Part-timers who can have a direct impact on the president were selected.
A social gathering will advance in a relaxed atmosphere while eating sweets at the company’s conference room.

We talk about work, company philosophy, employment opportunity, their dreams, family, boyfriends and girlfriends…
Listening to their concerns and advice.  Hearing opinions which cannot be provided by a shop manager, usually an experienced, older person. Compare and confirm the sense of value.
Everyone is anxious about life, employment uncertainty, they are looking for some advice and answers from an experienced, older person.
Communicating directly with our own unfiltered voices.
Due to this open communication, many part-timers joined the company.
The part-timers’ attitude toward work changed for the better.
Many shop managers said that working got much easier in the shop.
To change a shop culture by a shop manger alone is very difficult. When 20 ~30% of shop workers, including a shop manager, has the same motivation, then the shop drastically changes.
Even more so with a shop where the shop manager was reassigned.
That is why the president must talk directly about the constant corporate philosophy, culture, and work attitude
Transmit the soul; you have to be a story teller.

Connection with the workplace is most delightful.  I can see them making an effort.

However, many presidents don’t do this.

Their reasons: no time; part-timer training is the shop manager’s responsibility; I have other important things to do… 
I was taught that the owner’s most important work is new hire training and strategy (hard and soft).
I will talk more about the strategy (hard and soft) next time, but the fastest way to improve the profitability of the company is to improve the profitability of directly managed shops, therefore it can’t be left to someone else.
To do that, it is necessary to improve the shop climate, and it is often resulted by part-timers who make up the majority of work force in the shop

Shop climate too, system too, service too, hospitality too.
The majority of the image toward the shop that the customer feels is attributed to part-timers.

The system which has a direct impact and improve. Such system is required. 
That was a social gathering with the partners (part-timers)。
Clearly, it is much more effective to directly influence part-timers to improve the directly operated shop’s climate and its profitability.
Also from the viewpoint of recruitment, that it makes sense to hire potentially excellent workers within the company.

I directly influence them, screen them and persuade them. Repetitive work.
These days, I often hear many complain about not able to train, not able to hire.
How serious are they to be involved with their own part-timers and persuading them?
I was in such a thought while visiting shops in ASEAN.


Assentia Holdings, Inc.

AKIRA Tsuchiya