Introducing the Japan trip participants – part 2!

Welcome back! Here are Toon and Yohanes – the other two trip participants – talking about what they want to see in Japan – check it out!

Toon (Market Room, Auckland)

I have worked for St. Pierre’s since 2010 and been Market Room manager since late 2022. I love Japanese food culture and the food – but I’ve never been to Japan! I’m really looking forward to the experience.

I would like to see if there are any other Japanese local foods that I am not aware of that can be incorporated into sushi – or even make something new with our current ingredients!

I want to bring interesting new food experiences to NZ. People in Auckland especially are always looking for new taste experiences. St. Pierre’s has a reputation for freshness and innovation, so we are the perfect company to provide customers with something new.

Toon (centre) celebrating the shop’s success with the team

Yohanes (Rotorua)

I’ve never been to Japan either. Before I joined St. Pierre’s in 2012, I trained to be a chef. Food has been such a big part of my life, and now I want to dive into food culture in Japan!

I want to first find new ingredients and flavours that Rotorua people will like. For example, people here love cream cheese and we sell a lot of cheriyaki chicken rolls. I’m sure there are lots of other innovations we can do by finding new ingredients and techniques in Japan.

I also want to find machines which we can use to reduce preparation time. Kappabashi sounds like a great place to look! If we reduce prep time, we can focus more time on customer service. The more we interact with customers, the more we learn, and the better we can serve them. Then everyone is happy.

Yohanes and his team after the shop Christmas party
Relaxing with family 🙂

By the way, have you wondered how the trip participants were selected? In January 2023, we asked shop managers and assistant managers who wanted to travel to Japan to work on initiatives which great managers excel at. They included:

  • Developing a new manager
  • Encouraging staff to engage in the 7 Steps programme
  • Encouraging staff to complete online training
  • Working on great 2nd mile service
  • Achieving shop bonus targets

21 management team members applied, and after careful evaluation across the January 1 to June 30 period, we selected these four managers to go on the trip.

We’ll be posting regularly about the trip on the magazine site and managers’ Facebook group – look out for lots of news!

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