We were destined to meet!? Special Interview with Ueno Kenchiku Inc., a contractor for new-born Zauo, and President/Vice President, Zauo (Vol. 1)
Mr. Motoyasu Ueno, President of Ueno Kenchiku,Inc.(left) Mr. Kazuhisa Takahashi, President of Harbor House Cooperation (center) and Mr. Takuya Takahashi, Vice President of above-mentioned company (right).
Please enjoy a special interview by President/Vice President welcoming Mr. Motoyasu Ueno, President of Ueno Kenchiku Inc. to be featured for 4 times from now on.
Ueno Kenchiku Inc., located just in front of Zauo Head Office, is a design studio focusing on the design for restaurant/bar premises. Since having worked for the construction of Zauo Meguro Branch in 2012, they have been maintaining the close relationship. Until then, Zauo had been developing the branch restaurants mainly led by their internal division called Construction Division, however, what is the reason for Zauo to find the external business partner now? What is the new aspect of Zauo we can see from the innovation? What is the expression to emphasize Zauo by Mr. Ueno? The interview with three men of the same generation expanded extremely in a lively way from beginning to end.
President Kazuhisa Takahashi (hereafter, mentioned as Kazuhisa): Meguro branch was the first premise after we had succeeded the business from the previous president, wasn’t it?
Vice President Takuya Takahashi (hereafter, mentioned as Takuya): Yes, it was. Until then, we had been creating our restaurant just by ourselves. We could determine to get things right, however, we had to give up something on the other hand. That was also the time for restructuring of the Construction Division in our company and we were examining the possibility to ask some external person who could take an objective view of Zauo. Then, the person we were eventually introduced to by our intimate business partner was Mr. Ueno.
Kazuhisa: Having been introduced by our business partner with a long relationship, we were completely reassured to ask Mr, Ueno for our project.
Takuya: But, he refused(LOL), at the begining.
Mr. Motoyasu Ueno, President of Ueno Kenchiku Inc. (hereafter, Mr. Ueno): No, no, I never refused (LOL). As our company is supposed to be in charge from the initial design to construction consistently, we may have been hesitating to accept such a big project at that time. However, the office of Harbor House (Operating Company of Zauo) was in the neighborhood and I was hearing about their reputation very often. Then, I was interested in the project, hoping I could do something to help Zauo.
As one of the preparations, I researched Zauo through the Internet, but I found little information. That was a trigger for me to start having further curiosity, wondering “who are they?”. Then, I called Kazuhisa eventually.
Kazuhisa: Yes, I got a phone call from him. I had no idea what kind of issue he wanted to talk about and he asked me “Please let me work at Zauo”(LOL). “What is he talking about?”, I was so surprised. Nobody has such an idea usually. Furthermore, I got an interview from him. I told him a variety of issues including our previous president, business, how we had been lived and how we want to live from now on.
Mr. Ueno: I believe that restaurant has a responsibility for the future of the town. In deeper meaning, only a restaurant can change the town. People can express their emotions only when they are eating. From that place, communication is generated and the town can be lively. In this way of thinking, whether a restaurant could be doing a flourishing business or not is mostly in my hands. This is the real thrill and rewarding part for me to be involved in restaurant premises.
So, I asked Kazuhisa to let me work at Zauo restaurant actually to know about staff’s feeling on site, the way clients enjoy, operation/flow plan of the restaurant and, first of all, original type of business in accurate differing from any other restaurants.
Takuya: Then, you kindly submitted to us the thick documents describing points to be improved of Zauo as well as restaurant project plan a few days later.
Mr. Ueno: It was a great opportunity to have worked at Zauo. The most impressive thing I felt was every staff was so nice. All of them have warm hearts.
Furthermore, every staff was tremendously long in the service at Zauo. I learned a lot of things from the really experienced professional staff. One of the staff told me with a smile, “I was so exciting with a new branch restaurant for the first time in 8 years”. I was so impressed by the words and thought Zauo is a good company and good restaurant straightforwardly.
From the beginning, the interview started in catching a glimpse of Mr. Ueno’s view of his profession. Didn’t you think that “architectural designer should do so far”? Next issue, Vol. 2, is featuring the intensive “Uniqueness” of Zauo that Mr. Ueno found. Please be looking forward to that.