One-day bar master

A pioneering style of business succession among restaurant tenants

Business-tenants grow older along with the buildings they work in. Ideally, the businesses they run should be handed over in a timely manner. Unfortunately, most restaurants and the like are forced to close when their operators retire, as they fail to groom successors.

Indeed, such a handover process from elder to newer business-tenants is essential for a viable building-rental business. How frustrating it is to see a building abandoned when shops close, with their rich social network and know-how being squandered!

1. The woes of tenants

Younger business-tenants can work hard to keep on paying monthly rent. But as they grow older, they hit their physical limits and find it harder to serve even a decreasing number of clients. Many departing business-tenants feel chagrined because they could have afforded to stay in business if they had had an option to use the space only for half-a-month or just a few days a week. Thus, there are not many options left when they face losing their livelihood.

2. The headaches of building owners

Building owners used to regard the withdrawal of business-tenants as an obvious option when they could not afford monthly rent. But things have changed with the decline of the restaurant industry. Owners must endlessly look for replacements as new business-tenants struggle in their business and end up leaving their buildings.

3. A win-win solution

Arguably, the building-rental business has a special social role in helping former tenants pass along their clients and know-how to new tenants to spare them trouble in starting-up a business. In this way, former business-tenants may not only earn some money for their retirement, but also help preserve what they have achieved with their business and something to live for.

Yokosuka Group has taken the lead by introducing a one-day bar master system at our Enisi bar and lounge so that veteran bar masters who have left Ginza in tears can shine again by working with junior staff once a week or once a month.

Bars usually are packed when former bar masters appear on that one special day as “stars” who do their best in attracting clients. The extra sales above the target level are divided between the one-day master and building owner. Increased profits aside, successful one-day masters can pass on tips to fledging masters and help building owners to tap into their social network and business know-how.

Such a new style of business succession is being tested at Yokosuka Building to gracefully adapt to demographic decline.

Written by Hiroshi Yokosuka and Tatsuo Hayashi