Can Sushi make me become a Toyota?

Looking at the title of this blog entry, some of you would certainly think of Lukas’ excellent blog series referring to Toyota’s A3 model. If you presume that I am just copying his idea, just read this article until the end and you will find out that I am not. As I have already mentioned in my last bog entry, this article is going to be about the world-wides most popular Japanese dish: SUSHI.

Why have I chosen this title?

I got inspiration for this topic when sitting in the bus apps class listening to Toyota’s A3 report. Being profoundly impressed by Toyota’s A3 model and the way it managed to get to the top, I was wondering what else we could learn from these smart Japanese. Definitely, there must be much more behind this success. Besides their mentality and education, could maybe nutrition play a decisive factor for their intelligence? Talking about Japanese nutrition, Sushi immediately comes into my mind. Is this national dish the secret of the Japanese success? We’ll see…

Having worked for several Sushi Bars in Berlin, Sushi is something I know too well and I am sure, most of you are familiar with Sushi as well. However, just like Bubble Tea or other “odd stuff” coming from Asia, it took quite some time until being successfully introduced into the Western world and warmly welcomed and accepted by the Western palate.

Raw fish?! No thanks!

Whereas nowadays it is considered “normal” to eat raw fish, about 15 years ago, it would be natural to find it unbelievingly disgusting- what today many amongst us indeed still do.

Short Introduction

Sushi is a type of vinegar rice topped with fish and wrapped with seaweed.

Besides of pure fish, other toppings and fillings such as seafood, vegetables, tofu and eggs are used.
Sushi always comes along with ginger, wasabi and soya sauce as a side dish.
In general, there are 3 different kinds:
  • Nigiri- a rice ball with a slice of fish on top,
  • Maki- sushi rolls wrapped in seaweed
  • Temaki- sushi wrapped in a large cylindric form.


Origin

What I did not know prior to my researches is the fact that Sushi actually does not originate from Japan, but from ..guess what: China. (that’s what nobody would have expected as Chinese are normally famous for copying things 😉 Nevertheless, Sushi was introduced to Japan in the 17th century and in the course of time it had become the most well-known national dish. Above all, its highly valued nutritional nature has made this dish becoming so popular.

Nutritional Benefits

In general, the main ingredients of sushi -rice and fish- are naturally low in fat. More nutritional benefits are presented below:

  • Fats: Rich in Omega 3 or unsaturated fat. No fat was introduced in making the sushi as it is served raw.
  • Proteins: High levels of protein in tofu, seafood, omelet and above all in fish.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Ginger, seaweed and many other vegetables are rich in nutrients.
  • Carbohydrates: Found in vegetables and mainly in rice.

Evernote Food Icon- a piece of evidence for Sushi's popularity

What do we learn?

From the Marketing point of view:

As for launching a new product, respectively entering in a new market, we can see that it is essential to exermine the market very carefully, knowing the target group, its demand and preferences. By knowing exactly the great Western ambition of turning from an unhealthy nutrition to a well-balanced diet, a trend I have presented in my last post, the clever Japanese saw the gold opportunity to perfectly promote their traditional dish.

And from the consumer’s perspective?

If you assume that I will invite you to only eat sushi from now on as it contains so many nutritional benefits, you are completely… wrong! Through further researches, I have also found a rather shocking fact about this so highly valued dish.  Dailymail.co.uk revealed that fish, such as tuna and bluefin, have great levels of mercury which can be hazardous to one’s health when eaten it in large quantities. Eating uncooked fish furthermore can expose you to bacteria and viruses, raw seafood may also result to risks of anisakiasis, causing diarrhea, parasitic infection and poisoning, especially if not prepared properly. Blogger Bianca additionally reveals in her blog that surimi- the popular imitation crab meat- is over-processed and loaded with sodium. According to welt.de, Omega-3 fat which until now claims to be extremely healthy, is not much healthier than lard.


Confused? -You are not alone!

Huh.. all that information has made me really uncertain now. However, there is one thing I am completely certain about:

Sushi alone definitely does not make you become a Toyota! 

By all means, I do further researches in order to clarify this confusion. Furthermore, I am really keen to know what kind of food really influences our intelligence. Is it actually possible? If you are curious about the answer, just stay tuned to my coming blog entry!

In the meantime, check out the following links to learn more about sushi, from its history to recipes:
Advertisements

iPad in terms of profitability.

Having written about the tabletmenus and new iPad POS system in the restaurant business I thought I was comeletely done with this theme, an amazing piece of news, some pics and videos with examples of such restaurants, briefely discussed advantages and aha-done and nothing interesting left to write about, but some comments and especially the discution with Viola have revieled that there are still a lot of question to talk and discuss. And one of them is it really profitable for a restaurant to install a tablet menu?Or it can simply ruin the business and maybe even the whole industry of eating out?

So I’ve started my detailed investigation and now glad to present its results.

The first thing coming to the mind simply with the thought of implementing of digital menu is of course its cost. The fact, pointed by many authors, is that there is no direct answer on this question.

On the one hand, a restaurant with an iPad menu gets a clear profit. They don’t need any more to reprint an ordinary menu many times a year investing one or two thousands of dollar in order to adjust some changes but need to pay once for the digital menu and make changes with one klick even thousands times a day. The other advantage is that since an iPad menu installed the restaurants don’t need to pay the POS system having it at the same time on the digital menu that is easily synchronized with all App products allowing to overview the continuously change of items. And it’s impossible to drop out the „WOW-effect“ of entering the restaurant and getting an iPad instead of printed menu. Of course we are all living in a world of hi-tech innovations but even now there are a lot of people who have neither iPad nor iphone. For example, personally me) isn’t it cool to get some experience and to find out some information about sort of wine or enjoy big pictures to every kind of dishes?!

On the other hand as Viola has pointed out in her comment, the eating out is for most people a family ritual. In most cases it irritates when someone uses a cell phone during the dinner. So the same can be true for the digital menus, when all the waiting time can be devoited to the playing with it. Hence going out people are more eager to feel themselves relaxed and not like sitting in the office. Talking about profitability of such digital menus, we don’t have to forget the fact that they are easily destroid, the screens can brake or crack or simply the ipad can be stolen. Then it seems to make more looses then profit.

And to continue my post I’d like to give the last point, that is of great importance for me personally. For me the feeling of holding a printed, well designed menu, the smell of paper can’t be replaced. We work adn study, chatting with our friends a lot and thus to order the meal using again a technical device?! No, I’d like my eyes relax. And of course no digital menu can’t replace the real personal communication with a waitress/waiter and their qualified tips (we are not discussing here the cases when the stuff is incompetent). But the role of waiteress/waiter is a topic for another post…