Yume Wo Katare is a Japanese ramen shop selling authentic hand made Jiro style ramen. From outside, it seems like a regular ramen shop, but there are very unique features about Yume Wo Katare and it operates very efficiently and have very high through cycle time. Their say they are selling more than just ramen. They are selling dreams. Yes, it is very weird, but this concept works very well with the their operations. To help you understand, I have listed a typical customer experience and operations benefit in chronological order.
- You will get in line in person. They do not let you leave or have a waiting area. You have to physically form a line outside of the door.
- There is only one item (Ramen) in the menu. You can choose between small or large.
- Very similar to Benihana, but more efficient since they only have one menu. You can reduce food waste by not stocking for dishes that may not be ordered.
- They reduce their cooking time by preparing their ingredients ahead of the time. They will pre-cook meat and broth.
- If you are next in line, you will walk up to the cashier to pay first.
- This reduces time of customer asking for check and paying to the check. This process typically takes up good amount of table time. Also, this happens before you are seated so it saves more table time.
- There are only three long tables and you will be sitting next to a stranger.
- This optimizes the capacity of customers they can serve at same time.
- Because of the layout, people will talk less and finish their ramen faster than normal ramen place.
- They make ramen eating process like a competition. They say that this ramen is not just a ramen, it is your dream and when you finish the ramen, your dream will come true. This encourages you to finish your ramen. Also on the wall, there are tips on how to concentrate on eating. It pretty much says no use of cell phone or talking during eating.
- This decreases food waste, and easier to clean.
- Customers will eat faster, decreasing the table time.
- When you are done with your ramen, waiter will come by to take your bowl. If you finish the ramen including the soup, they will shout out “Perfect”. If you finish only the noodles, they will shout out “Good Job”. Also, they will ask you to stand and state your dream (You don’t have to). After stating your dream, you leave the restaurant.
- After stating your dream, it becomes awkward to seat back down since there are people who have already paid and expecting for you to leave. This helps with their cycle/table time.
Yume Wo Katare’s operations is so efficient and it is pretty much telling customers to east fast, finish your food, and leave after you are done in a polite way. Their operations is very well aligned with their business model for selling ramen.