Staff cafeteria that brings happiness and smiles!
A story of how Softbank brought a Soba noodle machine to its staff cafeteria!
“So many more of our staff have begun using our cafeteria since we introduced “Bandotaro” buckwheat noodle machine!”
Staff cafeteria – A key to a strong company!
Recently Softbank has introduced a buckwheat (Soba) noodle machine to its cafeteria to serve its employees fresh Soba noodles.
More and more big companies are becoming aware of the tremendous potential of staff cafeterias, and are making effort to enhance their own. There are also many companies that decide to create their own staff cafeteria which, among other things, can be a place where employees from different departments can join together for lunch meetings, gather to exchange information, or meet with representatives from other companies. Such function of cafeterias of serving as a venue for cross–divisional and cross-corporate communication raises employees’ motivation, and boosts corporate cohesion.
EMBODIED DETERMINATION: An uncompromising passion for serving only the REAL thing
Why did we choose Bandotaro as a machine to make authentic Soba noodles?
We wanted to serve fresh authentic Soba noodles in our cafeteria – and for that we acquired Bandotaro machine.
This was done as part of our program to remake the cafeteria which was entrusted to Mr. Takahiro Fujimoto (“Johnny”) – who has made himself into a legend by achieving a tremendous success heading Sales Departments in big food service corporations, and later as an independent food consultant to various enterprises.
Takahiro Fujimoto has begun his mission at Softbank from conducting a thorough research of what kind of cafeteria other companies had, visiting, and eating out in almost 80 of them! As a result of his research he could confirm a rather obvious thing – that due to budget constraints food in many corporate cafeterias was rather far from great.
This has even further strengthened his determination to make no compromises in his pursuit to serve only high quality authentic and tasty food – and that was how we got the idea of getting our own Soba noodle machine.
We wanted our employees to understand what a really tasty food was like!
When employees realized how tasty food at their cafeteria was they stopped eating out elsewhere!
Softbank cafeteria has a seating capacity for 1150 persons, has an area of more than 300 square meters, and is located on the 25th floor from where a superb view on a surrounding cityscape and nearby Hamarikyu Gardens can be glanced.
It boasts a wide ranging menu consisting of 122 items (including side dishes) for eat in, and over 150 if items for take out are included. It operates under an overarching policy of making no compromises on quality.
Since the start of cafeteria reform, more employees have begun spending their lunch breaks inside the company, with fewer opting for eating out elsewhere, meaning more and more of our staff has come to realize the “real deliciousness” Mr. Fujimoto is pursuing, and how good their own cafeteria was!
Staff cafeterias exist to give strength to move forward!
Speaks Mr. Fujimoto:
“Staff cafeterias play a very important role.
Food gives a valuable reprieve from negative feelings and stress, and allows people to feel happy – and the longer people stay happy the more proactively and powerfully they will engage in their work.
As Softbank strives to raise the happiness level of its staff, it has embarked on a comprehensive reform which includes, for example, offering its staff the most high-demand items on popular ramen restaurants’ menu, or buying up the whole carcasses of beef.
4 features of Bandotaro that delighted Mr. Fujimoto:
1) Bandotaro allows to reduce ingredient and labor costs making noodles more cheaper to make
2) Buckwheat noodles produced on Bandotaro have the quality comparable to those made manually by a skillful noodle master
3) Ability to adjust cutting width allows to make noodles as wide or narrow as you would want them to be
4) You can experiment with buckwheat flour of different types, plus Bandotaro is unique in its ability to make 100% buckwheat flour noodles!
Pro-level multifunctionality / Consistent high product quality
Usually, when we begin something new, our policy is to make no compromises, and do only what we have an interest in.
When we were just beginning to think of serving soba noodles at our cafeteria we decided not to bother with run-of-the-mill frozen bulk produce, and upon researching we came across information about Bandotaro from one wholesaler who was referring to it in very favorable terms saying that it could make really good fresh buckwheat noodles. Then we went to Yamato’s – the company that makes the machine – Tokyo office in Shinagawa.
We were quite impressed that the production was very cost effective, and that the quality was on par with noodles crafted manually by an experienced noodle master.
We are very satisfied with the machine’s performance, especially with its adjustable cutter that allows you to choose noodle width, that you can use different types of buckwheat flour, and, of course, that it can produce 100% buckwheat flour noodles.
By serving delicious and healthy Soba noodles we want to make our lunch breaks a really fulfilling experience for our staff.
Our cafeteria exists to provide all our staff with an opportunity to eat really delicious food, and we want this place to be a space where all our employees feel happy and excited. Our final goal is to make it into the most delicious corporate restaurant in the world! Before Softbank group becomes the world leading company, we will first make our cafeteria the best in the world! So, with passion in his heart, speaks Mr. Takahiro Fujimoto about his aspirations!