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We can’t find success using the Japanese business model. Selling cuts of steak at reasonable prices doesn’t translate into customers rushing to our shop.

16 Comments

Kunio Ichinose, president of Pepper Food Service Co, which operates Ikinari! Steak, saying customers are not flocking in droves to the company's first overseas steakhouse in Manhattan, New York, and that revenue is short of expectations.

© Asahi Shimbun

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One opened fairly near us recently. I took one look at the menu and worked out how much it would cost to take my family. Yeah, "reasonable prices".

Given the sides I'd expect/imagine a US steakhouse to have, Ikinari looked very poor indeed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Too many Japanese companies don't use consulting firms when trying to enter foreign markets

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I googled their NYC menu. "Reasonable" is not the word I would use to describe their prices.

Also US customers are not used to ordering steak by the ounce (with minimum price and then going up for every ounce after that).

Just price a certain steak one price and another a different. People are not interested in ordering by weight like that

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I guess an American business trying to sell sushi in Tokyo the same way they sell it in New York would be similarly surprised by the complete lack of customers showing up at their stores.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

People just aren't as stupid Overseas when it comes to quality and price. And before the usual people come on and say Japanese products are number one, keep in mind there are falsification and mislabeling scandals DAILY, some of which have been going on for years at places customers swear is "True Japanese food!" and "the best meat in the world", etc., when they've been eating frozen, fat injected (to appear marbled) beef, among other things.

So, just telling someone "You'll like it, because it's EXPENSIVE!" doesn't fly.

rainyday: "I guess an American business trying to sell sushi in Tokyo the same way they sell it in New York would be similarly surprised by the complete lack of customers showing up at their stores."

Not the same thing, although you DO get Japanese sushi police going to Japanese restaurants Overseas to judge what the consider authenticity. Anyone can prepare and sell steak, but unlike customers who will buy it in Japan BECAUSE it is overpriced (and ask a Japanese person if "expensive" is a positive or negative meaning adjective and most say the former), that won't fly in other countries.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Well at least they are trying. Tweek the business model and may turn out a success. I personally would go there as I avoid fast food whenever possible and sometimes have business trips alone so their counter tables may be suitable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No one is suprised by this revelation except the board of Pepper Food Service Co.

Did they not research the market?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did they not research the market?

They probably sent a panel of senior experts over in advance...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If they're using Japanese beef in that NYC restaurant, I totally understand its lack of success.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Business model?......ho humm .........Coupon day, happy hour?.....

http://ikinaristeakusa.com/menu.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smithinjapan

If you were to take what you say at face value a fella would assume that Japan is a particularly stupid nation. Expensive = good or value.

Actually that’s the case all over this planet earth, and thus the classic question of value. It’s just as valid in the nation YOU come from as well. I am Japanese and obviously what you say is not true. I know of few people who BLINDLY equate price with quality, but countless who generally do. Expense is usually occurred with increased value but not always.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People just aren't as stupid Overseas when it comes to quality and price.

Actually, yes they are. People have made fortunes from this knowledge all around the world. Just visit any number of popular and outrageously expensive yet mediocre restaurants near Silicon Valley or West LA for example.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Some consideration is needed when comparing price/weight. 100g of A5 Wagyu Steak can command a eye watering $170.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RecklessOct. 19  12:54 pm JST Well at least they are trying. Tweek the business model and may turn out a success. I personally would go there as I avoid fast food whenever possible and sometimes have business trips alone so their counter tables may be suitable.

If you go to NYC and can't find good quality food you only have yourself to blame.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

$14 for a Chuck Steak explains it all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Plenty of already established steak restaurants in NYC. Fierce competition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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