Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-09-21 09:08:59 –
Denver — A Viral TikTok Video Japanese restaurants in Denver have brought confusion, challenges and change to SMEs.
In 1996, Manabu Honma opened the Domo Japanese Country Restaurant. His restaurant offers a unique, flavorful and cultural dining experience that has attracted loyal customers over the last 25 years. Guests can choose to sit indoors surrounded by Japanese décor or outside the traditional Japanese garden.
Local companies have been a staple of Denver for many years, and in 2021 Zagat ranked the restaurant as one of the top five Japanese restaurants in the United States.
But there was nothing to prepare business owners and staff for the power and impact of social media.
In July, a customer recorded a TikTok video restaurant. It took less than a minute and there was no narration, but that’s all you need. In just one day, this video has been played hundreds of thousands of times.
“There was no doubt that there was a flood of customers almost instantly after word of mouth spread, so there was a big change in regular customers,” said chef Koichi Ninomiya.
He said the employee pulled up the video and played it more than 500,000 times a day.
People lined up outside the restaurant for several days before the door opened. The procession was so long that I arrived at an apartment complex more than half a block away from the entrance.
Ninomiya called this video “Blessing and Curse.”
“It’s nice that people come, but at the same time, there are a little too many staff, and overall there is a shortage of staff who can meet the demand,” says Ninomiya. ..
There are many repeaters in this business who have moved from a maximum wait time of 30 minutes to a wait time of 3 hours or more.
“I was so busy that I had to keep customers away,” Ninomiya said.
Restaurant owner Honma said customers are frustrated with waiting times.
According to a Facebook post on the restaurant page, customers repeatedly insulted other people who were patiently waiting and shouted disgusting words. Police were called several times to prevent the explosion from spreading.
“Some people are dissatisfied,” says Ninomiya.
Ninomiya said it became difficult to predict the amount of food to prepare and order.
Homma was overwhelmed by the expansion of the business and was closed for two weeks to create and set guidelines. He decided to reduce from 7 days a week to 3 days a week and limited the number of seats to keep people safe during the pandemic.
“We’re still busy. We’ve reached capacity almost every night for the last three nights,” Ninomiya said.
Ninomiya estimates that he serves 300 dishes a day and does not include appetizers.
A customer waiting to be seated with a friend said he was in a town visiting Denver and recommended that his friend eat at Domo. She said she usually searches for hashtags on TikTok to find new restaurants and cool places to visit.
“It emphasizes food; it emphasizes the atmosphere,” she said. “In many cases, it’s the hidden gems that don’t spend a lot of money on marketing, so you can also see these genuine, genuine types of places.”
Ninomiya emphasized that they were grateful for the extra business and simply sought patience and understanding. He said they were understaffed, like most restaurants.
“We want to serve everyone. You must come early, write down your name, be patient, and try not to be dissatisfied with us. We do our best to do our best. I will do my best, “said Ninomiya.
Signs outside the restaurant warn people about extended waiting times and remind customers that all dishes are carefully cooked.
This story was originally published by Adi Gujardo at Scripps Station KMGH In Denver.