Be Positive and Caring, and Survive a Tough Time
It’s been a couple of long, tough months for everyone, but I hope you are hanging in there! Some of you might be thinking about changing careers, some are shifting your focus, and some are re-establishing your business model, but under these circumstances, we are all in the same boat. Today, I’d like to share what I learned through my own experience while running Go! Go! Curry! America.
When I joined Go! Go! Curry! America and entered the curry restaurant business about eight years ago, I had no experience in the restaurant and food industry. I am originally from Ishikawa Prefecture, home of Kanazawa Curry and Go! Go! Curry!, so that’s a little bit of an advantage; but it’s been a series of challenges every day. Machine malfunctions, health department issues, food safety concerns—I have encountered many totally unexpected problems, one after another. There is no time to get stressed out and halt when you face an obstacle. You just have to solve each problem one by one and move on to next. You’ve got to be positive, and you should be able to gladly weather this never-ending drama when managing a restaurant franchise.
We will sometimes get bad reviews no matter how earnest our efforts are. But we should neither ignore them, nor get disappointed. Instead, we have to take them as factual and use them for improvement. We have to thank the reviewers for taking time to point out our shortcomings. In Go! Go! Curry!, we share all bad reviews and claims with every manager, because a problem that occurred in one location is likely to happen in other locations. We are thankful, transparent, and willing to learn from mistakes.
How can we be so resilient? Because we care about people. What I learned through all of my experiences is that the key to successfully managing a food franchise is all about caring about people. In this difficult time for small businesses, you may ask yourself, “What’s important?”, “What’s essential?” Our answer to that question is always “caring people”. If you agree with this principle, we could be a good restaurant franchise partner.
Next time, I will tell you more about Go! Go! Curry! America’s philosophy, the heart of our business. Until then, love each other and stay genki.
About The Author:
Tomoko Omori was born and raised in Japan. She came to the USA alone to become an actress, where she received an AA degree from college majoring in Drama. She received a scholarship to study music at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC.
After working for TV broadcasting and a publishing company, today, Tomoko is the CEO of Go! Go! Curry! America, a grab-and-go Japanese comfort food restaurant franchise. There are over 75 locations in Japan, and 11 in the USA. She says, “Our mission is to serve our tasty curry nationwide in the USA and Canada to enrich the lives of our customers, employees, franchise owners and the communities we serve. Our vision is to create millions of satisfied customers, contented tummies and miles and miles of smiles for everyone!” Tomoko received the Nikkei BP Woman of the Year Award in 2015.