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Gyubee Toronto, Canada


Full to Capacity every day: Store 1 in a residential area and Store 2 next to the university.

     
From about 4:00 PM on, both restaurants are full to capacity. Customers come from many different backgrounds and ethnicities. "I was thinking students from the University of Toronto would be my main customers, but young non-students make up nearly half. The reason we're full is because people enjoy being able to cook BBQ beef for themselves, and they love the Japanese-style seasonings.

"It is always important to focus on the target, and for me it's continual quality improvement."

 For president Jin Qiang (41), the restaurant by the University of Toronto is his fifth shop. It is also the result of his continual pursuit of quality.
During my school days, I worked part time in a sushi shop. It was there that I discovered my joy in the restaurant business. After starting two sushi shops of my own, I went to Japan for further training to increase my skills. In 2011, I entered a Japanese language vocational school, and the following year I advanced to learn specialized culinary arts skills.
 After returning to Canada, I opened what would be my third sushi shop. However, there were so many other low quality sushi places out there, that I decided to turn my attention to yakiniku. I opened my first BBQ restaurant in 2016 in a suburb on the outskirts of Toronto. I am happy to say that my first Japanese BBQ restaurant has become extremely popular, and there is often a waiting list of two hours.
 The second store opened in November of 2017, this time expanding to downtown. Dinner on the weekend is priced at $33 CAD and lunch is $22 CAD. Weekday dinner is set at $30 CAD and lunch at $20 CAD. The 27-table restaurant can accommodate 90 guests, and it is full even on weekends. On weekdays, the tables turn on average four times.
  "As soon as I took my first bite, I knew that this style of Japanese BBQ would be irresistible. Toronto didn't have anything like this, and my intuition told me that it would become a hit. My intuition wasn't wrong. "The smiling faces of my customers tell me I was right," exclaimed Mr. Qin, confidently.
Photos 1 and 2. The esteemed University of Toronto which has produced 10 Nobel Prize winners. There are more than 70,00 students enrolled, and it is the fifth largest institution in North America. The city of Toronto is a magnet for immigrants from diverse countries, and the school attracts students from all over the globe. When students get tired of their standard fare, they become energized by Gyubee's Japanese BBQ. Photo 3: Situated on the first floor of a building where the upper floors are a student dormitory, the restaurant has become almost like a cafeteria to the students of the University. Some students eat there as many as 3 times per week! Photo 4: The exterior of Store 2. "I wanted to offer outdoor dining, but unfortunately the regulations will not permit it."
Photo 5: A 58th birthday party for Tina, organized by her second son Andy (26). Including his older brother's family, the party totaled 12. "There are too few BBQ restaurants in Toronto," mentioned Andy. "I hope they open up restaurants all over the city!" Photo 6: The restaurant is full by 4:00 PM on a Sunday, and there are eight people who made reservations who came early! Photo 7: From the left Jin Qiang (41) owner and proprietor, Guo Wei (33) his wife, and Zhou Lin (31) manager of the store. After graduating from a local college, Mr. Zhou returned to Shanghai. Shortly afterwards, he was contacted by Ms. Guo who said "Why don't you come work in our restaurant?" "I couldn't resist," said Zhou. "Within two weeks I was back in Toronto." According to Mr. Qin, "when my wife is in charge, she has an excellent sense of customer service and I know all operations will run smoothly. Mr. Zhou continued "I am so grateful to Ms. Guo who convinced me to come back. Now I can work with the people I love in the city I love." Photo 8: Miso flavor has become a favorite due to the increase in popularity of Japanese cuisine. A popular menu item: A3 - Miso marinated Kalbi short ribs.
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