The TORIDOLL Group’s Mission is: “Finding New Value. Simply For Your Pleasure.” By identifying new values that lead to excitement of eating, we seek to provide our customers with happiness through our products and services.
In order to inspire exceptional experiences of food, we ensure that all our MARUGAME SEIMEN restaurants—of which there are more than 800 in Japan—are directly managed; all restaurants are also equipped with noodle makers, and all restaurants make their udon noodles from scratch. As a result, our customers are able to enjoy viewing the noodle-making process, and experience the delicious taste of freshly made and freshly boiled noodles.
In general, the restaurant industry uses central kitchens—however, MARUGAME SEIMEN’s unique setup differentiates it from other restaurants, and we believe this to be both a strength and a key reason for our growth. At the TORIDOLL Group, we intend to use the MARUGAME SEIMEN business model in our efforts to expand globally.
Policy and Management System
At the TORIDOLL Group, we desire to provide exceptional experiences of food to as many customers as possible. For this reason, we have formulated a Basic Policy on Quality and Food Safety, which lays the foundation for the provision of safe products and services on which the food industry is premised; at the same time, we intend to continue strengthening management systems related to food safety.
Through our Basic Policy on Customer Service which we based on ISO 10002, we also aim to continue increasing the satisfaction of both our customers and employees.
Basic Policy on Quality and Food Safety
At TORIDOLL Holdings, we are engaged in a variety of businesses and services, guided by our Mission of “Finding New Value. Simply For Your Pleasure.”
All TORIDOLL Group members believe our management priority to be securing quality and food safety. For this reason, we have formulated the Basic Policy on Quality and Food Safety detailed below, and the management and all our employees hereby pledge to adhere to the policy.
- In order to provide safe and high-quality products to our customers at all times, we will listen carefully to customer feedback, and seek to provide our customers with products of satisfactory quality.
- We will share a unified quality policy throughout the Group, adhere to the laws and regulations regarding quality and food safety in every country we operate in, and promote quality control systems that satisfy global standards and requirements.
- We will monitor and promote improvements in the quality assurance systems of our subsidiaries and business partners both in Japan and overseas; at the same time, we wil continue to implement the necessary training regarding quality and food safety.
- We will respond in a swift and appropriate manner if any problems should arise related to quality and food safety; we will also fulfill our duty to provide clear explanations to our customers, to government bodies, and to other members of society.
- The management will regularly assess our quality assurance systems and distribute management resources appropriately, and make continual improvements both to food safety and to the quality of work processes, products, and services at the TORIDOLL Group. In this way, the management will make optimal decisions with the goal of improving the quality of our products and of increasing customer satisfaction.
Basic Policy on Customer Service
Based on our Mission of “Finding New Value. Simply For Your Pleasure.,” TORIDOLL Holdings has formulated the following basic policy with regard to customer service, including customer feedback, requests, and inquiries.
- The Company shall respond to the Voice of Customer (VOC) sincerely and promptly.
- The Company shall share VOC information and make organizational efforts to provide better products and services and to ensure better customer response processes.
- The Company shall appropriately manage personal information entrusted by customers.
- The Company shall strive to resolve issues brought to our attention by the VOC, maximizing the understanding and satisfaction of customers through activities including appropriate explanations in accordance with how the VOC is handled.
- The Company shall maintain a firm position against unreasonable interventions disguised as the VOC by antisocial forces or similar parties and, wherever necessary, cooperate appropriately with the police and other relevant organizations.
Management Systems for Ensuring Food Safety
Establishing Food Safety Management Systems
At the TORIDOLL Group, we are working to strengthen our food safety assurance systems, which are key to providing our customers with safe products. In order to provide even safer products, we operate in accordance with the Food Sanitation Act and with the international hygiene management methods of HACCP.
More specifically, in 2019 we created the food safety management notebook for checking and recording hygiene management; subsequently, in April 2020, we formulated our hygiene management plans. The use and implementation of these food safety management books and Hygiene Control Plan has enabled us to guarantee daily hygiene, and to visualize improvements in behavior at our restaurants and in our organization as a whole.
At present, our hygiene management plans apply only to restaurants we directly manage; by June 2021, however, we intend to extend and implement these plans in all Group restaurants in Japan. In the future, we hope to digitize our manuals and records, and introduce systems that enable the hygiene conditions of all our restaurants to be checked in real time.
We also intend to raise awareness of hygiene management among our employees; at the same time, when deficiencies in hygiene management become apparent, we will identify the causes and make improvements with greater speed.
Quality Assurance Initiatives
At the TORIDOLL Group, we not only prioritize “taste,” but also focus on providing fresh products that are prepared in front of the customer; this is evidenced by the fact that all of our MARUGAME SEIMEN restaurants make their udon noodles from scratch.
To this end, we carry out wide-ranging initiatives to ensure we maintain high levels of quality.
These include employing carefully selected techniques, using safe ingredients, implementing high-quality management methods, and encouraging our employees to improve through friendly rivalries.
Achieving High-Quality Taste
Each of our MARUGAME SEIMEN restaurants makes their udon noodles from scratch. We take measures to ensure that the quality of our products is not influenced by daily changes in temperature, humidity, or various other factors. In order to provide delicious-tasting products that satisfy our customers no matter which restaurant they dine at, we work to guarantee the quality of our products—as an example, we are currently considering the introduction of sensory evaluation systems capable of isualizing the taste, aroma, and appearance of our products.
Proactive Use of Domestically Produced Ingredients
At the TORIDOLL Group, we take care to establish relationships of trust with local communities, proactively engage in any societal problems they may face, and work hard to contribute to and benefit these communities.
The flour used at our MARGAME SEIMEN restaurants is produced in Hokkaido by contract farmers and has passed appropriate quality checks; in addition, all our restaurants in Japan use sudachi (a type of citrus fruit) grown on Group-owned farms in Tokushima.
In-House Qualification Systems (MARUGAME SEIMEN)
As part of our initiatives to ensure the quality of our products, at MARUGAME SEIMEN we have implemented two in-house qualification systems: the Udon Chef Certification, which launched in December 2016; and the Tempura Chef Certification, which launched in 2019.
Both the Udon Chef and Tempura Chef in-house qualifications require candidates to pass a preliminary written test, meet a variety of criteria, and then pass a practical test and a second written test.
Based on our policy to encourage multiple careers, we have also created a new Udon Belt Ranking System . If a candidate passes the relevant qualification tests and achieves a higher rank, then he or she is granted discretion to deviate from the manual to decide flour proportions and boiling temperatures.
The tests for both Udon Chef and Tempura Chef qualifications are rigorous, with only 30% or so of candidates passing; those who do pass receive certification and work as Udon Chefs and Tempura Chefs.
Higher-ranked than a four-star Noodle Master, Udon Master Satomi Fujimoto is MARUGAME SEIMEN’s Udon Chef Certification; he visits restaurants across Japan to check the quality of our noodles and provide instruction. Certifying Udon Chefs and Tempura Chefs who have proven skills enables us not only to maintain but even improve the quality of our products.
As of March 31, 2020, we have certified 324 Udon Chefs (137 regular employees, 187 Partner Staff members) and 104 Tempura Chefs (54 regular employees, 50 Partner Staff members)
The TORIDOLL Group is responsible for providing people with food. To this end, in order to improve the quality of our products and ensure they are safe to consume, we carry out online hygiene training for all our employees, no matter what their job description. The training program communicates that food safety is the foundation on which the Group’s revenues and profits depend, and that training and nurturing all Group employees—including Partner Staff members—is the key to guaranteeing food safety.
After watching a series of hygiene videos, employees are tested both on their knowledge of basic food hygiene and on the quality of food products to check their levels of understanding.
In fiscal year 2019, employees at 608 restaurants nationwide took part in the training. In fiscal year 2020, we expect employees at all our restaurants to participate.
Depending on their positions and roles, some employees also undertake additional training to improve their understanding of hygiene, or to learn about methods for managing and improving restaurants.
Checking Safety and Hygiene through Internal and External Surveys
At the TORIDOLL Group, we use Food safety management notebook to check and record key hygiene management points on a daily basis. The restaurant manager also carries out monthly inspections, and draws up and executes improvement plans for any points of hygiene management deemed unsatisfactory.
In addition, once a quarter, the restaurant manager’s superior confirms whether the improvements are being carried out as planned, and provides support where necessary.
In order to ensure that the appropriate hygiene management systems are in place, the headquarters’ Food Safety Management Department and Restaurant Management Group carry out internal audits as well.
Twice a year, investigators from third-party hygiene Auditing body also conduct external hygiene surveys at all our restaurants. The aims of these surveys are twofold: first, to acquire objective assessments of hygiene management at each of our restaurants; second, to maintain and improve standards of self-assessment among our restaurant managers, by comparing the assessment standards of their monthly inspections against those of third-party investigators. Since the third-party investigators check the same items as the restaurant managers in their monthly inspections using the food safety management notebook, the surveys help improve the accuracy of our restaurant managers’ assessment standards.
At our overseas restaurants, we employ specialist staff to conduct training programs that maintain and raise quality levels and ensure food safety. In this way, we aim to reduce food safety risks associated with increasing the number of restaurants and to maintain and improve levels of quality.
Making Our Customers Happy
Through our products and services, at the TORIDOLL Group we provide our customers with new values that lead to excitement of eating. As individual approaches to lifestyles, work styles, and food diversify, we believe it is our duty to communicate with our customers and provide products and services that reflect their needs.
Customer Service Center
At the TORIDOLL Group, all feedback and questions from our customers are managed centrally at our Customer Service Center. The customer feedback we receive is stored in a database, where its content is analyzed then communicated to the relevant divisions.
There are numerous case studies of customer feedback leading to improvements in our services or contributing to product development. For example, we use in-app coupons and distribute “Udon Coupons” at our restaurants—but our customers said that these initiatives were difficult to nderstand, and that the rules on how to use them were unclear. This feedback was promptly communicated to the relevant departments, and the initiatives were revised to make them easier to understand.
In fiscal year 2019, we received approximately 20,000 items of feedback. Approximately 21%pertained to our products, 40% to our services, and 39% to other matters.