Yoshinoya Executive Director Reveals the Root Cause of Series of Problems | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yoshinoya Executive Director Reveals the Root Cause of Series of Problems

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Yoshinoya has been in trouble this year.

The attendees must have been stunned. The following comment was made by a lecturer at a lecture for working adults at a prestigious university regarding “strategies to make young people like beef bowls.

This is a plan for young girls from the countryside who don’t know what’s right or left to use the restaurant for the first time and end up being shabu-shabu-ized. If I could get a man to buy me an expensive meal, I would never eat it.

Masaaki Ito, 49, managing director of the beef bowl chain Yoshinoya, made the comment at a lecture held on April 16 at Waseda University (29 lectures, 385,000 yen for the total). Mr. Ito, who lectured on “Marketing in the Digital Age,” made inappropriate comments that were discovered on a social networking site by a participant and caused a firestorm. Yoshinoya immediately issued an apology.

We deeply apologize to the students of the course, the organizers, and Yoshinoya’s loyal customers for the inconvenience and discomfort caused by this incident. (It is extremely inappropriate, and from the standpoint of human rights and gender issues, it is unacceptable.

Mr. Ito graduated from Keio University and has over 20 years of experience in marketing at foreign-affiliated companies, etc. In October 2006, he became the managing director of Yoshinoya, in charge of product development and sales promotion. He is said to have been called an “astute marketer” in the restaurant industry because he helped the company achieve a V-shaped recovery in its performance. Economic journalist Takashi Matsuzaki explains.

Behind Yoshinoya’s strong performance is its product strategy. The company launched “RIZAP Gyu Salad,” a beef bowl without rice developed jointly with the personal gym “RIZAP,” and succeeded in attracting female customers by creating a healthy element. The “Poke-mori Gyu-don Set,” a collaboration product with “Pocket Monster,” was sold out at many restaurants. Our aggressive strategy paid off.

Another flaming scandal just before

Mr. Ito introduced in a course for working people

On the other hand of success, there have been some recent cases of flare-ups. Until March of this year, Yoshinoya ran a campaign called “Kai! Yoshinoya Juku,” a campaign in which participants could earn 220 rice coupons (miles) and receive an “original rice bowl with your name on it. Initially, the name of the recipient was “optional,” but the name was suddenly changed to “the person who received the prize,” drawing criticism.

The response under the name of “Director of the Customer Service Office” also added fuel to the fire. When a customer who inquired about a certain facility wanted part of its name on an original rice bowl, he was met with incredulous responses such as, ‘We don’t believe the name is your real name,’ and ‘If you are suing us, our lawyers will take the matter seriously. A series of exchanges were exposed on the Internet. Yoshinoya acknowledged that there was a problem with their response and posted an apology on their official website, saying that they would no longer limit the use of their name to their real names.

On April 19, Yoshinoya announced the dismissal of the executive director who made the problematic comments. While the “Yoshinoya Juku” project was still fresh in our minds, the executive director’s comment about “shabu-zukuri” (shabu-zukuri is the Japanese word for “shabu-zukuri” in Japanese) occurred. If we do not take this statement seriously, another problem is sure to arise.

Apology issued by Yoshinoya on April 18

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