The benefit of hiring many staff is gaining experience from an increased number of positions.
The sales increased proportionally to the increase in the number of customers, and the number of staff also increased. Currently, he has 5 employees.
Including the part-time dishwashers, I currently have 8 employees working hard. We aim to run the restaurant with 6 staff at minimum, in different rotations.
One of the benefits of having more people is that the staff becomes more experienced. In actuality, it is possible to cook, serve and wash dishes with 3 people. In this case, however, I would end up cleaning fish, grilling it, flavoring it, and plating it. If these jobs can be managed by younger staff, they can learn by doing them. There is no progress if I end up doing them all.
Increasing the number of staff, and properly delegating tasks, enables individuals to gain experience and improve their skill.
Another benefit is by delegating the tasks previously performed by me, such as flavoring and plating, my hands become free. As a result, I will have more time to interact with the customers or offer new services. Increase in the number of staff raises the overall quality of service and also allows us to offer different kinds of services to the customers.
I see. It is true that what a single person can do is limited. What do you value when hiring and training your staff?
I say harsh things when I am hiring. The pay is low, there are no off days, and you will be working from morning to night. If you are comfortable with that, come work with me. Also, applicants who have never had my food will be turned away, even if they are invited for an interview. I think that is fair. If you do not care about the food served at the restaurant you are trying to work for, it will not last. You must “want to learn the food here.”
In terms of staff training, I think “what the boss thinks” is important. I think my job is to train them such that when they are 35, they can feed themselves. Whether you want to train them, or to use and get rid of them. I think this difference in mindset will affect what kind of apprentice they become.
Also, I try not to do things I didn’t like when I was in training like, playing favorites and being reluctant to entrust positions to the trainees.
For those who like cooking, there is no other job with greater joy.
Please offer a message to the young aspiring chefs.
In this profession, it is very important that you like to cook. If you like it, you can overcome hardships. Even if there is a period when you don’t have any customers after you open your own restaurant, you will not lose the will to continue. In actuality, it is hard to find a job that one likes. I encountered a book that ended up changing my life on a TV show that I happened to be watching. I would like everyone to find what they like by reading many books, watching many TV shows, and interacting with many people.
A chef is a simple job. The more you put in, the more you get out of it. The best moment is when the customers say your food is delicious. You get praised and paid. If you like to cook, there is no other job that offers greater joy.
Going forward, the position of Japanese cuisine will be changing. There is an increased use of Japanese ingredients, such as Konbu and bonito, in Italian and French cuisines. It means that Japanese cuisine is attracting much attention from the world, which makes it a worthwhile to be in this field.
(Interviewer: Takashi Ichihara, Writer: Tomoko Tanaka, Photographer: Takashi Oka）