Embracing new technology
Though I’ve been a franchisee with Edo Japan for more than 14 years, I still learn more about the business each day. What’s more, the franchise system continues to look for different ways to improve the customer experience.
Last year, Edo Japan partnered with SkipTheDishes to incorporate food delivery. The service introduced a fantastic stream of revenue, as well as added convenience for our customers. Additionally, head office is preparing to launch a smartphone app, which will be great for connecting with our diners—especially the millennial crowd.
There’s a lot to learn in regards to technology. One of the most significant changes I’ve seen in recent years has been the increased presence of social media and online reviews. When I opened my first franchise, Facebook and Instagram were non-existent; today, these platforms play a huge role in streamlining communication between the brand and its customers. Google reviews are also an amazing tool, as they help us remain in close contact with our guests and address any questions or concerns they may have in a timely manner.
Overall, advancements in technology have simplified day-to-day operations. Not only am I in constant contact with my employees, but I’m also able to quickly get in touch with the team from head office need be.
Happy for support
I’m fortunate to be partnered with a company that sets its franchisees up for success. Edo Japan’s management team offers ongoing support for every aspect of the business, from marketing, to legal matters, to day-to-day operations.
I mainly work with the latter—the operations department. The team is great, as they’re so accessible and happy to help with anything I need. Working closely with the franchise system has definitely been a highlight of my career. I’ve developed personal relationships with members of Edo Japan’s senior management team, and consistently feel respected, valued, and heard.
My family’s support has also been integral to my success. My wife is a full-time mom to our three young children, but still finds the time to help me out with paperwork, and my parents, who are enjoying a well-deserved retirement, are also willing to lend a hand whenever they can.
These days, I split my time between each of my franchises, catching up with my area manager, Romell, and taking note of the highlights of any given day. When I’m in the restaurants, I step in wherever I’m needed, whether it’s cooking behind the grill, working the cash register, or clearing tables. Not only does taking part in the day-to-day aspects of the business set a positive tone for my staff, but I also enjoy being there! I like taking the time to get to know my employees personally, as well as talk to the customers to ensure they’re happy with the food and service we provide.
I’m fortunate to have built a strong relationship with other Edo Japan franchisees. Because I’ve been a member of the system for so long, several new franchisees completed their in-store training at one of my locations. In fact, my former area manager, Kent, who had worked with me for about 10 years, recently opened his own franchise in Red Deer, Alta.
As for my future plans, I can only envision further growth. I’m hoping to expand into additional franchises and am currently looking for suitable locations in Calgary. That said, when the right site becomes available, I’m excited to open my sixth location!
Steven Ng is a multi-unit Edo Japan franchisee based in Alberta. For more, visit www.edojapan.com/franchising.
Established in: 1979
Franchised/corporate units in Canada: 140
Investment: $350,000 – $550,000
Initial franchise fee: $35,000