July 23, 2022

William Ryan: Japan Hospitality Consultants founder and Irish bar pioneer

William Ryan: Japan Hospitality Consultants founder and Irish bar pioneer
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Have you ever considered opening your own bar, cafe, or restaurant in Japan?  It seems daunting and bureaucratic doesn't it? On this episode you will hear just how simple it can be. I speak with William Ryan, the founder of Japan Hospitality Consultants (JHC), and the owner of the An Solas Irish Pub in Yoyogi.  William has been running Irish pubs in Tokyo for over 20 years and started his own pub in 2014. With this proven track record he started JHC two years ago when he realized there was an underserved niche advising foreigners on how to open their own F&B places in Japan.  We discuss the importance of authenticity, the hospitality niche foreigners have in a country known for excellent service and "omotenashi", the quantitative checklist you will need to open your own place, rules #1 and #2 for every new bar owner, I give William three bar & cafe ideas and he evaluates their success potential, and he discovers the worst F&B idea he's ever heard. Other highlights from our conversation:

  • The difference between an Irish pub and a British pub
  • How he got "recruited" to Japan to run an authentic Irish Pub
  • The importance of "reading the air" for bartenders and why it's difficult to teach hospitality
  • Misinformation and bad advise lead him to start JHC
  • Trying to be Japanese and other mistakes foreigners make when opening F&B in Japan
  • Was starting JHC during a pandemic the best or worst timing ever
  • The one F&B market need he sees right now
  • Thinking that owning your own bar will be as much fun as drinking at a bar
  • When a hobby becomes an obligation, it stops being a hobby anymore
  • Two favorite untranslatable Japanese words explained
  • The phrase "Tabi no haji wa, kaki sute" and how this relates to foreign run bars and cafes 

Japan Hospitality Consultants: https://www.japanhospitalityconsultants.com/
An SÓLÁS:  https://www.facebook.com/AnSolasIrishPub/

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