Overcoming any adverse circumstance by evolving. The motivating force? “I don’t want to be defeated.”

China Bistro EVOLVE
Yoshifumi Tsunemura

China Bistro EVOLVE Yoshifumi Tsunemura

In the first three years, you need common sense more than skills.

Just like the name of the restaurant, you are evolving.
Is there anything that you keep in mind when you train your employees?

Mr. Tsunemura:
I do not have an unyielding spirit like before, so I worry about how to communicate, but
what I always tell young employees is, “You have to grin and bear it for at least three years.”
Be aware of being scolded; and if you endure hardships for three years, you will find something to shoot for.

Another important thing is to learn common sense in first three years.
For example, work like cleaning, greeting the delivery guys, serving tea when older customer come… Those basic things should be taught now because it is no fun for it to be brought up after five or six years. That creates a defensive mindset. Skills come later, so it is important to learn the basics.

If you cannot take basic care, you cannot provide good service.
If you think about doing business in the future, you have to gain that knowledge at an early stage.
It’s also important so that you are not ashamed when you move to another restaurant.
If you don’t learn standards, no one treats you well.

Hearing your stories, I think it is great that you have both feet on the ground and have a clear image of your future. Lastly, I would like to hear about your wife, who has been supporting you and your business.

Mr. Tsunemura:
My wife never objected about my independence and in fact supported me actively.
If I didn’t have my wife, I probably wouldn’t have what I do now. I realized that there are many areas in which men are not strong.
As the restaurant got busy, we fought each other from our professional positions.
My wife gave me her opinion, like, “We should do this for our customers,” from a service point of view; but for me, I could not actually do that.
But we have aimed for better service by hearing from both sides.
I might have lost track of customers’ points of view if I were by myself.

In this case, your staff is not a stranger but your wife; so opinions must be expressed more straightforward.

Mr. Tsunemura:
Of course that’s the case. If the relationship was owner-employee, we would have kept our thoughts to ourselves. It is more like partners than husband and wife. It allows us to work on ourselves and move into a good direction. My wife is a strong person, so whenever I wanted to give up, she supported immensely. She always kicked my butt, but she also carried me in a way.
It’s been 17 years since we started, and I think it’s a very good thing that she is my wife.

(Interview: Takashi Ichihara Writer: Tomoko Tanaka Photographer: Wakana Nouya)

China Bistro EVOLVE interior

China Bistro EVOLVE interior

China Bistro EVOLVE

La Dorurei Kobe Sannomiya Bldg. 7th floor 1-25-6 Nakayamate-dori, Chuo-ku Kobe
18:00-22:30 (last order at 21:00)
Sundays, and two other days each month