“Love: Love should be treasured. I hope to always keep that concept as our starting point.”

“Love: Love should be treasured. I hope to always keep that concept as our starting point.”

~Stores Where Young Employees Can Shine~

We spoked with Yoshinori Horii, the 9th head chef at the So-Honke Sarashina-Horii restaurant, who serves as chairman of the Tokyo Steering Committee of the Japan Culinary Academy. Although he is the head chef of a well-established restaurant, with a history dating back over 200 years to 1789, Mr. Horii speaks clearly, cheerfully, and without any trace of pretentiousness. The Sarashina-Horii slogan is “always keep the sun in your heart!” In addition, as a symbol of the company, the message “Love: Love should be treasured” is delivered firmly to young people.

Mr. Horii always talks about this kind of thing at company explanatory meetings. “Through positive thinking and words, people can improve their own performance. It’s important to always picture things going well and speak positively. If you have the sun lighting up your heart, you can move forward optimistically.”

Mr. Horii uses the example of a photo collection, capturing the microscopic crystals within water droplets, to explain the power of words in an easy to understand way. “The beauty of the water crystals is totally different depending on whether the cameraman said ‘thank you’ or ‘bastard’ before taking the photo. Just by looking at the crystals, anyone can see the difference. All human beings can look at these photographs and determine which one is love, which one is fear, and which one is envy. In this way, I want to choose love and gratitude. Some people probably hear me talking about this and think, ‘What the heck is this nonsense?’ Those people will run away from me, and that’s okay. It’s just that when I have the heart of each individual person in mind, that connection is what makes a company, so I want to keep love as a fundamental concept.”

At So-Honke Sarashina-Horii, Mr. Horii is delegating new jobs to young people more and more. Young female employees handle the selection and stocking of the various sake varieties, and Mr. Horii says he rarely has any complaints about their work. At the Nihonbashi Takashimaya S.C. store, the young store manager is developing a new menu. “If the foundations of soba noodles, and the two soups,moritsuyuandkaketsuyu, are strong, it’s easy to add something new to that. I think a soba restaurant uses that kind of system. It makes it easy to create something unique alongside a detail-oriented approach. Since young people, too, should find it easy to get involved, I hope more of them will come into my world from here on.