Omotenashi is heartfelt service from a Japanese perspective
Updated: Apr 27, 2021
A walk into a Japanese restaurant will often prompt the enthusiastic shout of "Irasshaimase!” by their staff. Whilst unknowing customers may be surprised by this loud noise greeting their entry, the English translation will warm their hearts. "Welcome to the store!" is what the restaurant staff are shouting.
The Japanese are famously attentive to detail, especially when it comes to taking care of others. From trains that misalign to their time schedule by 20 seconds, to World Cup players cleaning after themselves despite losing, the Japanese approach to relationship development is one of consideration and courtesy. It is a matter of responsibility that the highest level of service is provided to another person.
This immense consideration and politeness is described by the word, Omotenashi. Meaning "hospitality", this Japanese attitude is demonstrated by heartfelt dedication towards predicting a guest's preferences and caring for their needs. You can call it customer service at its pinnacle, or a global soft skill that has garnered respect for the country. It's a responsibility upheld by Japanese people to care for their guests.
Omotenashi is prevalent in relationships throughout Japan, regardless of whether it's in a business or social context. You can taste it in a ramen shop, when the chef serves you broth cooked with over 8-hrs of delicate attention. You can feel it when a shop employee lowers their head in a bowing gesture to you. You can experience it when a Japanese person fills your glass before they fill their own. The values of Omotenashi are imbued into the daily lives of everyone.
Meet the Shinmachi Team
On the left, is Chef Erick. He makes Shinmachi's delicious ramen. On the right is Reina, who is our bubbly floor manager.