We interviewed Mr. Akio Matsumoto, a sommelier at Torien who offers a wide range of Japanese green tea on the restaurant’ s menu.
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of customers, especially young customers, who do not order alcoholic beverage at all or choose to order as little as possible. As a result, there were a large number of customers who ordered only water. From a business perspective, this was a huge opportunity loss resulting in a drop in sales per customer with few orders on the drink menus.
From customers’ perspectives, there were few choices of non-alcoholic beverages paired with foods, which led to difficulty increasing their satisfaction with their experience at the restaurant. I would like to provide an opportunity for those who want to drink but cannot consume alcoholic beverages to enjoy drink pairings.
The biggest advantage is the variety of options that we can offer for our customers. There are many kinds of Japanese green tea, and even the same kind of tea has different tastes and flavors depending on its area and origin. Customers can be satisfied with a wide range of variation based on their preference and special dining experience with Japanese green tea pairing. In fact, many people mentioned that they are happy to be able to order non-alcoholic beverages drinks that go well with their meals.
From a business perspective, even customers who don’t order alcoholic beverages often order from the Japanese green tea menu, which helps us maintain our profit margin because we can maintain average customer spend. 40% of all of our customers order a single tea item including Japanese green tea, and 10% order the tea pairing menu. Many customers order repeatedly, and the number of orders of Japanese green tea is gradually increasing.
One of the important points is to provide the good taste of Japanese green tea on its own. I think it is important to carefully select and offer the best quality and grade of Japanese green tea. We make sure to provide enough choices for our customers by handling various types and production areas.
I believe the “presentation” to the customers is one of the important aspects. Many customers are highly interested in new food experience. By carefully selecting tea wares or serving warm Japanese green tea in unexpected wine glasses, people can enjoy the experience by not only the taste, but also the appearance and aroma.
By offering a Japanese tea menu, I would like to tell more people about the greatness of Japanese green tea and how well it goes with food. Through the special Japanese tea experience at the restaurant, I would like to do my best to make people aware of the appeal and quality of the tea, and to increase their awareness and knowledge of Japanese green tea.