Japanese-Style Hospitality

1st Post:


> We have “omotenashi” culture in Japan, one of our strength
> that could underly great service businesses.
> In fact, I heard there are some Japanese SMBs
> in this kind of service busiess sectors
> (e.g. logistics specialized in relocation) that started their business
> in ASEAN based in Singapore to become successful.

Let me write a little bit about this omotenashi culture.

I sometimes talk about the Japanese-style hospitality with my client shop masters and managers. When I first started LinkedIn, I joined in Hospitality group in order to learn so-called hospitality. However, the topics (and members intentions) are basically about the running of relatively luxurious hotels and restaurants. They appeared to use the term hospitality as a name of the industry not as methodology to create CS.

Another thing that I noticed is that hospitality is meant for segmented usually affluent customers when they use the term. In this point, most of the consultants of hospitality in Japan are somewhat similar. Probably it is because they learn foreign cases and methods, such as the case of Disney World. As you can see in the case of TDL, to spend a whole day there is something that anyone can often afford financially.

Ritz-Carlton’s motto says “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” Well, as far as I know, what is demanded at the very front line of the B2C business is the hospitality at as high level as possible in the world of “We are gen pops serving gen pops.”

The pachinko parlors, game centers and izakayas are found to be most enthusiastic clients of some hospitality training companies originally established for hotel industries. Gyudon-ya managers I know sometimes tell me that they feel severe demand for materializing the hospitality in the shops.

These grass-root approaches, I believe, are forming the hospitality that Japan can export abroad. When I talked to a few Chinese MBA holding entrepreneurs working part-time at the local small diner along the local shopping streets, I was shocked to see that they were formulating precise manuals of the operation and the training programs for it. They surely know the value of it.

2nd Post:

M== & H==

Thank you two for referring to my comment on the Japanese-style hospitality. As H== mentioned, the transfer of the implicit knowledge (Ammokuchi) tends to consume more time and effort than that of formal knowledge (Keishikichi). The Japanese-style hospitality that I mentioned above is definitely the collection of Ammokuchi that can hardly be taught with written manuals. It demands the learners to observe the “true sempai.” It is true.

However, according to the Dean of Students of a hotel business vocational school I met two years ago, many luxurious hotels have efficient ways to teach their freshmen the hospitality of high quality in a relatively short while.

You probably know that there appear to be too many employees existent around the reception counters, such as doormen, porters, etc. The hotels keep the employees’ wages so low compared to those in other industries, until the employees get promoted to managerial level, that the hotels can keep more employees for helping customers than actually needed. This situation enables freshmen employees to spend their work hours almost doing nothing but observing the sempais.

According to the Dean of Students, some luxurious hotels keep their freshmen employees off from actual work and make them see more than 4 months after the entry. The freshmen are at the job site for sure but they are not actually on the job. So this is not an OJT training, to be precise. And the hotels order the freshmen to collect sempais’ good examples to have customers to say thank you simply through watching.

This is the very reason that I said that the pachinko parlors were enthusiastic in the pursuit for the hospitality. They are chasing rainbows so far, because they keep their employees with so much ado in the workplace while they try to have the employees master the hospitality. They will be successful gradually or eventually.

And this also is the very reason I said that the Chinese MBA holders formulate manuals of the operation and the training programs in the Japanese local diner. They know they can never write down the mind and the value of the hospitality. But they do know they can record the target result to “have customers say thank you” as well as the training method to “collect sempais’ good examples of achieving the target, simply by observance.”

They could go back to China and open their shops after the identical staff training, where a few mediocre Japanese staffs are brought in from the Japanese food industry to let them observe how to have the customers say thank you and to let them collect the good examples to learn as many as possible. The mediocre Japanese staffs are just enough to rebuild the Japanese local mediocre diner operations. But they confidently said that the Japanese mediocre operations with the hospitality could sell much back in their homeland.

And why they needed manuals?

They just needed the manuals simply to describe the workplace and the basic operations there, before they learn the ways to materialize the hospitality. They were impressive people, I’d say.