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Jul 7, 2012

‘Greedy diners’ cause restaurant closure

Image: The sign outside Wafu, telling diners what's expected of them. Photo: Stephanie Gardiner

It is always sad to see someone fail owing to missing her true vocation. The woman in this story would be a brilliant success in the customer service/public relations department of any government agency anywhere in the world.

A somewhat eccentric restaurant owner has announced her closure of the establishment owing to customers failing to abide by her strict rules for dining there. Chef, Yukako Ichikawa is notorious owing to the strictness of the rules she imposes on diners there:

Ichikawa's restaurant has a notorious set of rules to cut food waste, with customers expected to eat everything on their plate and bring their own containers for leftovers and takeaway orders. The Japanese eatery is often described as Sydney's most exclusive restaurant because only members, which include those who attend an "orientation", can make bookings

But in an announcement posted online, Ichikawa said Wafu would close in the coming months partly because not enough diners were willing to abide by her policies.

"First, many potential customers, and even some members, have entered Wafu without doggie containers," she wrote on the Wafu website. "I could not accept such inconsiderate people. The refusal of this most simple, basic request shows that Wafu's ways are not respected. Intolerable.

"Further, I found it distressing when, after eating, with obvious self-satisfaction, people said, 'SO FULL!'. "Perhaps this was meant as a compliment, but to me it meant that the utterer had deliberately damaged their body by wasting food through over-eating. "It meant also that the utterer did not understand Wafu's ways, and had not bothered to make the effort or take time to find out what these are.

"Wafu is viable, as a business, if I continue to accept inconsiderate, greedy people. "But I couldn't do it. Wafu has always been, and will remain, more to me than simply just another business.”

Ichikawa also wrote that the "ongoing global economic crises" played a part in her decision, as well as "the disheartening effect of seeing people walking whilst cramming fast-food in jaws that cannot even chew." …
As the owner of the business, Ms Ichikawa has the right to set whatever standards she wishes for her clientele, however the Basil Faulty business model is not recommended as a recipe for success.

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