Moving a Japanese Restaurant

by Cornelia Reiher

Running a restaurant is a complex endeavor. Moving a restaurant from one place to another is even more challenging. One of the Japanese restaurants we have worked with in the past years just reopened in another part of the city and I had the chance to talk to the owner, chef and staff before and during the opening day. The main reason to move the restaurant to another location was the small size of the old restaurant. At times, they had to send people away, because the place was too crowded. In addition, the neighborhood had changed. Many shops and restaurants closed down and regular customers moved away. The owner wanted to relocate to a more vibrant location with more tourists and affluent customers. The new neighborhood is indeed vibrant and the restaurant is now located between galleries and hip eateries.

Copyright © Cornelia Reiher 2022

The new place used to be an Italian restaurant that had to be refurbished and electricity had to be completely renewed. Most of the renovation work was done by the owner and his team. When we visited the place two months before the opening, the restaurant’s owner was gluing strips of wood to the wall. He told me that a Japanese friend took care of the interior design and that they had already ordered lamps, decoration objects and Japanese calligraphy for the walls. In addition, the restaurant’s chef brought back some decorative items from her trip to Japan. Both, the owner and chef, were particularly enthusiastic about their new tatami room where they envisioned sake tastings and tea events to take place in the future.

Copyright © Cornelia Reiher 2022

The restaurant’s chef told me that months before the reopening of the restaurant she was already busy with preparing a new menu, adjusting the kitchen to her and her staff’s needs and hiring people. Since the restaurant is much larger than the old place, they needed more staff. This proved to be quite challenging during the pandemic because she prefers to work with people who speak Japanese. Fortunately, they found two Japanese women who flew in from Japan and London, the latter entered Germany with a working holiday visa. With six people in the kitchen, the chef had to reorganize work routines and schedules and train the new employees. She also changed the menu. Putting new dishes on the menu also meant calculating costs for ingredients and setting new prizes. The chef remembered this as a rather stressful time.

Copyright © Cornelia Reiher 2022

The week before the opening, the chef was really nervous and then the electricity stopped working. However, it could be fixed before the opening day and despite difficulties like this, the restaurant opened as planned. The restaurants’ team had invited friends, business partners, regular customers and a photographer. When we arrived, the restaurant was decorated with balloons. Many friends and customers brought flowers and other presents. I was amazed at how much the place had changed since I last visited. Some Japanese friends helped out as waitresses and wore kimono or happi. The restaurant was crowded and guests appreciated the new menu very much. Takoyaki and matcha fondue were particularly popular. I hope that this great opening makes up for all the hard work the team put into renovating and preparing the restaurant for its reopening and that customers will frequent the place as much as the old restaurant.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht.

Hinweis / Hint
Das Captcha kann Kleinbuchstaben, Ziffern und die Sonderzeichzeichen »?!#%&« enthalten.
The captcha could contain lower case, numeric characters and special characters as »!#%&«.