What Is Good-Mannered Service Honed in Kyoto?Instruction Book by a Waitstaff Placement Agency's President
The president of a Kyoto-based waitstaff placement company for hotels and restaurants published an instruction book explaining customer service skills. With the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and World EXPO 2025 in Osaka, it is expected that there will be an increase in events held to attract people from both Japan and abroad. The author said, "I hope that the high-quality art of hospitality that has been honed in Kyoto will be utilized all across Japan."
Tadashi Watanabe, who heads Every Work, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, authored a book titled "Sekkyaku no Kihon to Kotsu," or the Basics and Tips of Hospitality, published by Gakken Plus Co., Ltd. The company originally started as an agency that did various activities, especially supplying waitstaff. Named "Kyoshi Club," it was founded in 1951 in response to the postwar increase in hotels. In 1990, it was renamed "Kyoto Haizen-nin Shokai-jo," or Kyoto Waitperson Placement Agency. Watanabe joined the agency after graduating from university, and he himself served customers. Reportedly, he has even waited on Imperial Family members. He has been training more than 1,000 people a year for 35 years. When he looked for instruction books to produce a manual for training, he felt that "there were no instruction books with concrete information." Thus he compiled the book based on know-how gained from senior colleagues, as well as his own experience.
The book has abundant illustrations as it provides advice on how to serve as hall staff and provide a good-mannered table service, as well as service that is out of sight of customers, such as handling reservations or cleaning bathrooms. It also addresses how to cope with difficult situations such as customers' complaints, which are said to "be increasing in number recently."
Watanabe said, "The essence of hospitality is like water. If you take time to practice repeatedly, you will be able to respond to any situation naturally and flexibly. I hope that the book will be useful not only for young people who want to join the hospitality industry, but also for everyone in forming good relationships in their workplaces and families."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)