What Japanese restaurants can teach you about positioning and marketing

  • Eat lunch with a giant plush moomin sitting with you at the table.
  • Have cake & coffee surrounded by cats/puppies/owls/you name it.
  • Eat yuzu ramen that we cooked in front of you to the sounds of Swedish hip hop.
  • We only serve alcohol, but also offer free WiFi and 10 bowls of ramen on a first-come, first-served basis between 4 and 5 PM.

1. The humble beginnings

This section may be skipped or condensed in a spoken explanation, but most online concept pages will start with a story about the restaurant’s founding, early struggles, and eventual runaway success.

2. The secret sauce

What usually follows is an explanation of the restaurant’s signature dish, secret ingredients, or an innovative way of preparing a Japanese staple:

3. Experience over results

Another section that you’re almost bound to find in a Japanese concept is the tabekata (食べ方), or ‘the way of eating’. It’s often presented as an illustrated manga comics, and can be most commonly found in either the menu, or on a sticker glued to your table.

How to eat Thai-suki

4. Feel right at home

Many concepts are highly relevant to their particular clientele, or their immediate neighbourhood. Some restaurants cook meals with ingredients unique to their part of the country, others use produce from their neighbours or get inspiration from local landmarks and geographical features in their presentation.

5. Focus over all

Last, but not least, Japanese restaurants are always smart to choose one signature dish and make it central to their concept, and their marketing. Indeed, in stark contrast to restaurants in the US, many of the best Japanese establishments will only serve variations on one single dish.

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Philip Seifi

Philip Seifi

Founder https://colabra.app | Cross-pollinating between industries and cultures. | Nomad entrepreneur 🌎 designer 🌸 hacker 💻 | https://seifi.co