Customer Case Study
YAYOI leverages BayPOS to power global expansion
“Almost every Japanese food restaurant in Silicon Valley falls into one of three categories: sushi, ramen or izakaya,” says Gabriel Vegas, Area Manager at YAYOI. “YAYOI introduced the popular Japanese comfort food, Teishoku, and it’s changing expectations of what Japanese food can be.”
Teishoku and warm customer service are what YAYOI is all about. The first US location was opened in Palo Alto, California in 2016 and YAYOI has been partnering with BayPOS to automate its ordering system and leverage data for the brand’s global expansion. BayPOS’s scalable, data driven POS gives management the metics it needs to make smart business decisions.
Fast food transforms into full-service restaurant
Backed by the popular Japanese Teishoku chain Yayoi-ken, YAYOI operates in 8 countries.
“YAYOI was an early adopter of self-ordering systems,” says Shin Iwaizawa, Sales Department Manager of YAYOI.
“In Japan, Yayoi-ken operates as a uniquely Japanese type of fast food restaurant. Customers walk up to a machine and buy tickets which later get presented to receive food. Because of its focus on speed and efficiency, the system aligns well with Japanese business culture and is quite popular.”
Prior to its U.S. launch, YAYOI had expanded throughout Asia, where “we elevated our brand concept by dropping ticket machine ordering and moved to a more full-service restaurant,” Iwaizawa explains. “The model worked well, but it also came with staffing and worker turnover challenges.”
To overcome these issues YAYOI pivoted to using basic off the shelf self-ordering tablets at the table. “It eliminated time-consuming order taking task and order errors. It also gave customers control when and what to order.”
Evolution out of synergy
As YAYOI expanded into the U.S, they explored emerging technologies that complemented their brand concept. Partnering with BayPOS, they set about creating a robust, modular and scalable POS with kitchen management, self-ordering capabilities and strong data analytics.
“We had the BayPOS development team on site with us. As issues arose in the day to day operation, we evolved prototypes together,” Iwaizawa recalls. “The system was developed in real time, with direct business and guest feedback.” This process helped identify key functionalities and eliminate superfluous features. The resulting system was “unusually simple, scalable and flexible.”
BayPOS evolved to be “very self-explanatory and simple in format. Everything you need to know, (orders, timing, party size, etc.) is right in front of you, clearly organized on a tablet,” Vegas describes. “With visualized information in real time, BayPOS allows everyone to be on the same page, kitchen staff, floor staff and customers alike.” Also, “BayPOS can be configured with or without the self ordering module and quickly tailored to suit a wide variety of business requirements.”
More opportunity, less turnover
With seamless support by the system running in the background, YAYOI is less dependent on finding experienced employees. Staffing can be reduced and filled by a wider range of workers, without compromising a full service restaurant experience.
Another advantage is that the lower stress environment reduces employee turnover. “For many of our employees this is where their food industry careers start. Using BayPOS allows us to both to hire and retain good workers with lower skill sets,” Vegas says.
The human touch
Because operations are streamlined and optimized with BayPOS, YAYOI can focus on what they do best: great food and great service.
Some businesses may shy away from self-ordering systems for fear of losing the human touch, but both Iwaizawa and Vegas recognize that “BayPOS has actually brought us closer to our customers. The system gives our staff the freedom to focus and truly engage with them.”
“Customer service is not about taking orders. It's about making sure they have an enjoyable experience,” Vegas emphasizes.
Good decisions start with good data
“Areas of operation that used to be difficult to translate into concrete metrics are now captured as data,” according to Iwaizawa. “We are able to use this data to communicate across the organization and make evidence-based decisions.”
“Extensive data capture gives us a 360 view of operations.” BayPOS’s metrics can be organized along a timeline that lets managers visualize each step in the kitchen and every touchpoint in the customer journey. “This really helps reveal performance opportunities and bottlenecks. It also helps guide the development of new menu items.”
As YAYOI expands, BayPOS’s data analytics are being leveraged for the planning of new locations. Consolidated data from existing locations can be used to “determine kitchen layouts and seating capacity as well as forecast sales and expenses for future locations.”
“BayPOS helps us to focus our limited resources on our core values, food and hospitality, while saving time and cost on staff training and labor,” says Iwaizawa.
With BayPOS automation, YAYOI can operate with labor costs that are comparable to a fast food business model without sacrificing the hospitality of a full-service environment. After the success of the U.S. pilot program, YAYOI launched the BayPOS system internationally and is now delighting customers and growing profits in 35 locations across 5 countries...with more to come.