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Kobe Wagyu : Sydney - Australia

Kobe Wagyu (170 tables), the largest Japanese BBQ restaurant in Sydney,
opened in Chinatown on December 20th, 2015.
(Photo, upper left) In the evening, there is a constant flow of pedestrians heading to Chinatown, passing the restaurant front. To go to Chinatown from Geroge Street, the main north-south thoroughfare in Sydney, they have to take the street where the restaurant is located. (Photo, upper right) It is 7:00 p.m., Friday night. Roughly 70% of the tables are occupied. Since it has been only one month after the pre-opening, the restaurant has not gained much recognition from residents in this area.

Walter Yao (33 years old), is the youngest among four owners. He is from Fuzhou, China and studied marketing at a university in Australia. He opened a coffee shop while in school, and after graduating, he sold this shop and is now running an Internet cafe and billiards hall. "Billiards helps me improve my concentration and my ability to anticipate the future. It is also useful in the study marketing."

A 33 year-old entrepreneur sees the Japanese BBQ business as an attractive opportunity and decided to take the plunge. A large restaurant with 170 tables was established on a bustling location in Sydney. The restaurant is furnished with smokeless grills, so the next step is advertisement, Mr. Yao's area of expertise.

Being drawn to the word "Kobe," Mr. and Mrs. Jewsen from the Netherlands dined at this restaurant and savored Japanese BBQ for the first time. "Kobe beef is known for its quality in the Netherlands. We had no idea how to eat Japanese BBQ and could not imagined how delicious it is to grill meat by ourselves. This experience has given us a pleasant memory of this trip." This proved that Mr. Yao's idea to incorporate "Kobe" into the restaurant's name was the perfect choice.
 Since he ran a coffee shop while in school, Mr.Yao is full of business ambition; as a marketing major, the Japanese BBQ business had real appeal for him.
He encountered Japanese BBQ for the first time at a restaurant in Sydney. There was a clear contrast between restaurants that serve good meals and restaurants that do not serve good meals, or successful restaurants and unsuccessful restaurants. It was obvious to Mr.Yao what makes the difference, and he was convinced that management is the key to a successful Japanese BBQ business. He decided his future would be that of an entrepreneur. That was four years ago.
After conducting a market analysis of Japanese BBQ in Sydney, he noticed that there were no large restaurants in Sydney. Successful restaurants are located in the suburbs and most of the Japanese BBQ restaurants in city centers are small eateries with 20 tables that allow customers to enjoy meals in a cozy atmosphere. There were no lively restaurants where customers enjoyed grilling meat on their own. Mr.Yao envisioned a business plan to establish a restaurant where Japanese BBQ lovers could gather.
The first step was to find a location, and he found a property near Chinatown. The restaurant is on a street that leads to Chinatown from George Street, the main north-south thoroughfare in Sydney.
The street has enough foot traffic to fill the tables. In addition, with Chinese ex-pats living in Australia as the target, a location close to Chinatown would attract patrons.
The next step was naming of the establishment. He wanted an iconic name with a touch of class. Therefore, to incorporate the word "Kobe, " he chose "Kobe Wagyu." Wagyu indicates high-grade marbled beef from cattle interbred with Wagyu cattle in Australia. Now, it is a well known beef brand Down Under. 
The restaurant opened on December 20, 2015. Although it has a steady flow of customers, it is not satisfactory. Supervising the kitchen is currently the issue. They need a person with expertise in beef who can train the ktichen staff how to prepare meat and implement a lean kitchen operation. There are few chefs who are equipped with both fine culinary skills and management ability. However, Mr. Yao is well aware that such an employee is the most important element for a Japanese BBQ business.
The restaurant is in a prime location and is well-furnished with quality equipment. The remaining issues are to find chefs with outstanding management skills and implement an advertisement campaign, Mr. Yao's forte. He clearly envisions a booming Japanese BBQ market in Sydney.
 

 


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