Japanese Teppanyaki is a cooking and entertainment style that started in Japan that has reached a global influence. It has gained popularity in most countries because of its theatrics and entertainment value. But all that success lies in a complex time management system, consistency, and grit for both business owners and chefs.
This article will list the dos and don’ts of running a Teppanyaki restaurant, best practices, and must-have items to run your restaurant successfully.
What is a Teppanyaki Restaurant?
Teppanyaki is a unique style of restaurant service where food is cooked on an iron table, prepared, and served in front of guests. Chefs bring entertainment value through various cooking tricks and mingling with guests by cracking jokes, bringing a happy atmosphere as meals are professionally cooked.
Teppanyaki originated in Tokyo, Japan, during the height of World War II. Back then, chefs sought to maximize their limited resources as they served their guests. Teppanyaki is a combination of two words Teppan, which means “Iron plate,” and Yaki, meaning “Cooked over direct heat.”
Now let’s review the best and worst practices of running a Teppanyaki restaurant.
DO: Get a Back Kitchen to Prepare Ingredients Ahead
Teppanyaki cuisine is known to continuously cook different courses from appetizers, seafood, or meat dishes until dessert. With this in mind, chefs must have access to pre-cut vegetables, fruits, and meats. Do this by building a separate kitchen away from customers, with its primary function to prep and cut ingredients.
You can also use the back kitchen to store and weigh big batches of meat and produce. See https://www.wedderburn.com.au/product-category/weighing-scales/industrial-food-manufacturing-scales/crane-scales/ to check out quality scales for your business.
DONT: Hire The Wrong People
As a chef in a teppanyaki restaurant, it takes a great deal of managing the quality of dishes and putting up an entertaining show. While experienced chefs can whip out a delicious meal, not everyone can mingle with guests and cook simultaneously.
Preferably, you want someone with experience working in this environment to bring an authentic teppanyaki experience. Alternatively, you can train or test your chefs first to gauge their cooking and social skills. Remember, your staff is your backbone in representing your brand and producing revenue. Getting the right people takes time and investment in learning the business.
DO: Promote Your Brand, Not The Price
Just because you have a teppanyaki grill and a themed interior doesn’t make you an authentic brand. In today’s market, most competitors invest in outstanding services rather than affordable prices because people tend to associate brands with services. This means that when people are looking for a Teppanyaki restaurant, the first thing that comes to mind is your business.
DONT: Ignore Marketing
What good is quality service if you’re not getting any presence outside your restaurant? Marketing is your asset in advertising your brand-new teppanyaki restaurant and getting packed reservations daily. Online marketing today is easy and affordable to maintain by creating an online account on various social media platforms and purchasing ads to promote your business.
DO: Pre-Launch Huddles or Training Programs
Before opening your restaurant, your staff has to undergo a specific training period to get used to the daily operations and get the flow of being efficient. Working in any restaurant has many moving parts, and you want to ensure your employees are used to the pressure.
DO: Established Relationship With Japanese Suppliers
While you can serve Western dishes in a Teppanyaki restaurant, the most significant selling point of Japanese cuisine is authentic Japanese dishes. By connecting with local Japanese suppliers, you can bring a genuine experience to your customers that goes a long way toward associating your brand with an authentic Japanese restaurant.
DO: Get a POS System
POS (Point of Sale) Systems are a great way to automate your back-end duties and daily reports. These systems allow you to easily book reservations, track customers, and process transactions as you manage every facet of the restaurant. Plus, the system records everything within the operating hours, so you can easily pull up reports, inventory statuses, and daily revenue.
DO: Go All in For The Theme
It’s a Japanese restaurant, so commit to the theme and build your business with authenticity. Allow your guests to explore the Japanese aesthetic and take pictures for their social media accounts. It’s a great way to introduce Teppanyaki cuisine to their palates and promote a good quality experience from all senses.
Running any restaurant takes time, hard work, and investment. And a Teppanyaki restaurant requires one such investment. And our guide highlights that the success of your business depends on such minor adjustments and keen attention to detail. As long as you stay true to the brand and service quality, you will surely give customers an experience like no other!