by Hachi Hachi
last updated 08/12/2019
Japanese For Starters
by Hachi Hachi
last updated 08/12/2019
Hachi Hachi is a proven fast casual restaurant concept with new opportunities in main centres around NZ
Quality and high standards are the hallmarks of Hachi Hachi, the rapidly growing Japanese fast casual restaurant franchise. It’s that fact that drew executive chef Toshiro Isomuro to the brand. ‘Hachi Hachi is here to stay and I want to be a major part of it,’ he says firmly.
Originally from a design and marketing background, Toshiro says he was always passionate about food. ‘Finally I decided the only sensible thing was to get creative and become a chef,’ he says. ‘After a long career in different ventures in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, I became aware of Hachi Hachi and it immediately appealed to me. There is something vibrant and tempting about the entire concept of fresh, fast and affordable Japanese cuisine, and I can see it has big possibilities for the future.
‘I really have faith in the founders, Titi Khemarangsan and Bundit Kijpalakorn, who were already highly experienced restaurateurs in Christchurch even before they created Hachi Hachi nearly seven years ago. Now, with five frequently-packed outlets around Canterbury, we are seeking individuals or companies that are interested in opening franchised outlets in other main centres throughout New Zealand,’ says Toshiro.
Popular all day long
Hachi Hachi is a restaurant concept designed to serve a wide variety of food and a wide range of customers. ‘In addition to sushi, we offer quality hot food, including many Japanese classics such as ramen, donburi and udon noodles,’ says Toshiro. ‘For us, it’s important to have the freshest possible produce, locally sourced wherever possible. At the same time, our meals are not expensive, with menu items ranging from $5 to a complete meal for under $20. That’s possible because our reputation and attractive ambience drives volume sales.
‘Our food is popular throughout the day from lunchtime to dinner, with surges in business after school finishes and increasing demand for corporate catering. We have a very loyal customer base who visit often, and once you’ve developed a good relationship they keep coming back. We maintain their interest throughout the seasons by creating new and original recipes that are in keeping with our great Japanese cuisine. That has translated into very consistent turnover for the brand all year round.’
Nothing left to chance
‘Asian food is widely available today but Hachi Hachi has taken things to a whole different level,’ Toshiro explains. ‘It’s the details that count in a restaurant, and our training plan contains not just all our recipes, but also how to choose the best staff and deal with operational matters such as cost control, margins and managing food safety. Nothing is left to chance and I personally coordinate the kitchen training as well as supervising our recipes and menus.’
You don’t necessarily need hospitality experience to open a new Hachi Hachi restaurant, but you’ll certainly need passion. ‘It was passion for food that started my journey here and if you have a love of innovative Japanese cuisine, this could be the opportunity for you. You need to care about food and you need to be able to take advice because you do well by doing things well, and it is vital to maintain the brand’s high standards to keep customers coming back.’
Another enthusiast for the Hachi Hachi experience is retail designer Phil Tindall, who worked with the founders on their previous projects before investing in the brand himself. ‘I’m now a major shareholder in one restaurant, with options on a second. The combination of a dedicated executive chef coupled with the years the owners have put into developing the concept is a real winner. Hachi Hachi has proven popular over many years and differing locations, and I’m keen to see others help take it national.’
The cost of opening your own Hachi Hachi restaurant will vary depending on location but the total investment required, including fit-out and equipment, will be around $500,000 +gst – much of which can be financed.
‘Opening any kind of retail outlet is inevitably fraught with logistical, financial and compliance headaches, but we have a great team on board to help you,’ Phil says. ‘We’ve put a great deal of effort into the standards and skills that make a restaurant tick, and at the heart of that is training your key people to ensure they can pass on that training to their staff. Every new franchisee will move around between all the five existing restaurants so as to get the maximum experience and see how the quality control is implemented and high levels of profitability achieved.
‘Although we’re well-established in Canterbury, this is effectively a new opportunity elsewhere so you have first choice of the best locations. Give me a call today and I’ll tell you all about it.’
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