Pick Up

We started up new business from scratch with the interns!
Flexible incorporation of intern opinions led to success

Japan Food Entertainment Inc.Japan Food Entertainment Inc.

企業企業Japan Food Entertainment Inc.

Kyoto/Food Service Industry

インターンインターンLe Van Hai

Vietnam/Graduated from University of Finance and Marketing/Commerce,International Business Management

インターンインターンSinaga Ganda Saputra

Indonesia/Institut Teknologi Bandung/Architecture


We want to try out what kind of effect including foreign staff in management will have

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
Our company operates Ramen shop “MENBAKA ICHIDAI”. Since roughly 90% of customers are foreigners, many foreign part-time staff are on our roster. However, head office staff engaged in management are only Japanese. As a business targeting foreign customers, we thought about actively incorporating opinions from the perspective of foreigners. Just at that time, we learned about this program, and thought about trying out what kind of effect including foreign staff in management would have, and went ahead and applied. While we had a concept in the company for “a business for hands on experience in making Ramen”, planning had been stopped for a long while. Here we thought, let’s have the interns be involved in the startup from scratch of hands on business “Ramen Factory”.



We prepared for a startup from scratch with the interns.
After repeated discussions, we opened in roughly 1 month!

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
Before coming to Japan, we conducted online meetings with the interns, having regular discussions by SNS. Also, as this was a business start-up, we sent them an assignment book which described the success track for foreign ventures. Regarding items decided before they arrived, the store property, concept and equipment to a certain extent were the only things, with only about 20% of preparations made. After the interns came to Japan, 3 company staff including myself and the 2 interns took on the remaining 80% of preparations required to start up the business, which took about 1 month until opening. The interns took on various tasks required for startup in a primary role including logo selection, drafting contents for the website, promotion and sales activities, making manuals for staff training etc.
In starting activities, we presented a roadmap to a certain extent, but after that basically placed importance on determining the direction through discussions. We were fully aware of the potential of these two individuals, and rather than showing them answers, we devised ways to bring out their full potential. At times there were failures, but by sharing those failures as a group, they became intellectual property of our company.



We changed the concept based on suggestions of the interns!
Compared with opening, sales tripled

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
The biggest success was being able to complete preparations required to launch the business in just 1 month. However, sales during the first 2 weeks were not satisfactory. Meanwhile, the interns proposed “allowing customers to also just order Ramen without hands on experience”. To be sure, it is true that some customers without time for the experience just gave up and left. However, their proposal broke the basic concept of “make and eat Ramen”, which was not acceptable. Nevertheless, the source of their proposal was from the original assignment book that was given. When I learned that their proposal used as a reference the story of “success was reached precisely because we changed the concept midway”, I was quite moved. Then we accepted their proposal, deciding to change the concept. Now the business is comprised of the two offerings of “you can experience making Ramen, and you can also eat Halal Ramen”. As a result of accepting their proposal, compared with the level in the first 2 weeks, sales have tripled. We learned from the interns the importance of having a flexible viewpoint and way of thinking, and occasionally making a breakthrough.



We were able to contribute to startup of a new business as key members

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
I was able to be involved from the beginning in startup of a new business, which was quite interesting. During the internship, at times during discussions, my opinion came up against those of other members, however I was able to overcome that and complete the internship activities. Mr. Miyazawa of the host company created an environment where we could exchange opinions on an equal relationship, placing his trust in us, and as a result I was able to challenge various things. Also, I was quite happy he accepted our proposal and changed the original concept. (Le Van Hai)
My major at university is architecture, however I have been interested in the food services and restaurant business for some time, and would like to have my own shop in the future. Participating in the business startup this time was a good experience. I didn’t have business-related knowledge such as marketing etc., so initially I wasn’t sure if I could make a contribution. However, the “Ramen Factory” also offered Halal compliant Ramen, and I was able to contribute through attracting target Muslim customers. (Sinaga Ganda Saputra)



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