A restaurant where our heartbeats gather, and become local assets of everlasting quality.
HUGE's restaurants coined this motto, "A restaurant where our heartbeats gather" to express our wish for smooth communication between our restaurants' staff and customers. One meaning of this phrase is that we want our restaurants to be exciting for diners. Another is that we want our staff to strive to provide more refined dishes and services, never failing to fascinate our guests.
Naturally, we also want to create a new and unique business model, offering services lacking in each particular area, services that are truly needed by the people and become a local asset that increases the value of the area. Last but not least, all of our endeavors are based on one simple and unchanging wish: to create, through earnest and relentless efforts, restaurants of everlasting quality that live on in the areas they are located in for generations. The communicational motto was created not to convey these aspirations to our staff anew, but, rather, to shine a stronger light on what is already there.
Why does the relationship between us and the customers exist? Who is it for? There is only one way to answer these questions: for the sake of each area and its residents. How about the people, who work in our restaurants? For them, the main point is also to see what impact their work has on the area, and who it impacts.
These were the issues we were thinking about, and the conclusion was that we want to create restaurants of everlasting quality that live on in the areas for generations and become local assets.
My parents used to run a diner. When I was at a susceptibly young age, I lived under the same roof with the staff and it felt as if they were part of the family. These people worked alongside my parents in the diner for about 40 years. During that time, they got married and had children. You could probably say that the time they spent with us was life itself. And our relationship was not at all businesslike - we were a really tight family, which, I feel, is what a diner should be. These memories of my childhood are the pillars I have built my restaurants upon.
Guided by these experiences, I thought that if I am to open my own restaurants, I should make them so that they take root in each community, so that people would want to work in my company for a long time. For both people and companies, there are good times and bad times. That is why I do not think that the principle of rewarding people for good work and punishing them for bad work is a good foundation for a business. I thought that I would make my company a "lasting" one, and this simple keyword has guided me ever since the company was established.
That is why the company does everything so that its employees, its "family", so to speak, can live stable lives. All I want in return is for staff members do their best in the restaurants and, consequently, with every dish served and every service offered to our customers. This for me is the relationship between the company and its employees. I established HUGE so as to enable this long-lasting mutual relationship. The idea of creating restaurants of everlasting quality that live on in the areas for generations and become local assets also originated from my heartfelt wish to work as a family and offer good quality for years to come.
I hope you have understood the background for the two keywords, the "quality" and "local assets". But how do we put them into practice? How should we create the mutual relationship between the company and its staff? The important point here is the mindset of the staff.
When I, as a manager, create the working environment and communicational framework for the staff, I put great importance on the following three points. The first is to ensure that there are people worthy of respect, whom people can learn from regarding not only occupational knowledge and skills, but also human qualities. The second is providing the salary system adequately matches the effort made. And the third point, the most important one is that each staff member feels that he or she is needed by the company, that the company recognizes the value of its employees, and that the two sides create a relationship of mutual trust.
This third is actually asking the question: "Do you feel like you are needed?" Every time I visit my restaurants, I ask this question to our employees because I feel that it is necessary both for the person and for others to recognize that person's strengths, for each person to find their strengths, and to cultivate them. When someone stands out from the crowd, the crowd should not make that person follow the average standards, but be proud of that achievement and help that someone develop whatever qualities he or she has further. I shall never spare effort or expense to make that happen.
And if this is not enough, if you need help understanding some important matters, or if you feel that there are some problems in your work environment, I will readily join you and we will solve these problems together. Solving problems together... It's easier said than done. But I feel that if I don't do it, I simply won't be able to fulfill my promise to the employees, let alone the customers. That is why I regularly visit restaurants of every brand and talk with the employees.
This continued communication bore fruit: staff started to show more initiative and independence. And this tendency shows not only among administrators, such as managers and head chefs, but among workers at all posts including even the part-time staff. A restaurant is a team. Some bake pizzas, some make pasta, salads, or cocktails, and some take the food to the customers with a smile. Take any one of them out of the team, and no customers will come. It is very difficult to increase the skill of the team as a whole. But if we are successful, things may go very well for us. And when the employees know how much fun it can be, they start working as a team led by the manager and head chef, believing in the power of the team.
The people, who sympathize with the idea of everlasting quality that becomes a local asset, one day, realize that they want to stay in the company for a long time and become managers themselves. This is exactly what is happening now, and these people start making their own decisions so as to make the business profitable, create their own teams, and each restaurant becomes a self-supporting system.
To create everlasting quality, to become local assets, what we need is a reciprocal relationship between two desires: a desire to create organizations and a desire to create good restaurants. Luckily, my desires, and my philosophy has gradually reached the hearts of the employees, and thus became real - in the true sense of the word. From now on, I would like to lead everyone further, so that each and every task, every dish served and each service offered is improved further, becoming truly refined masterpieces of the restaurant art. On the other hand, for HUGE this time is still very much a time to expand - both in terms of the business area we are operating in and in terms of the number of restaurants we run. Thus, I would like to create new places to work, increase the number of managers and employees.
I hope that HUGE's staff will do their best to make the restaurants they work places that capture the heart of the community, places where people feel an attachment to and spend long time in, and that these endeavors will foster managers of new restaurants, resulting in further expansion of our organization. And I am certain that these new places shall become valued local assets of truly everlasting quality.
- Born in 1963. Current president of Enterprise HUGE Co., Ltd.
After graduation from Fukushima Commercial High School in 1982, was employed at Tokyo Kaikan Shinjuku (presently Dynac Co., Ltd.).
Joined in 1984 Hasegawajitsugyo (presently Global-Dining Inc.).
Left in 2005, and started up Enterprise HUGE Co., Ltd.
In April 2006, opened the first restaurant "Cafe RIGOLETTO" and fine dining "RESTAURANT DAZZLE". Followed by 21 other restaurants located mainly in Kanto aera and also in Sendai, Okinawa and Kyoto.