Japan hotels, restaurants seek new revenue streams

Japan’s hospitality sector is adapting its offerings to include daily room use and takeaway services to bring in much needed revenue during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

High-end hotels have rolled out campaigns inviting businesses to use their spacious, Wi-Fi-equipped rooms for telecommuting. The move is in response to the Japanese government’s call upon its people to work from home where possible to minimise viral transmission. Cramped homes or co-living with extended family has made this a challenge for some workers, prompting them to look for options outside the office.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo offers its guestrooms to businessmen who need a conducive space for telecommuting

In Tokyo, the ANA InterContinental offers half-day (three hours) and full-day (nine hours) plans for one or two people to use its twin or double rooms for remote working. The half-day plan costs 12,000 yen (US$110), while the full-day plan is priced at 19,500 yen. Users can also enjoy a 20 per cent discount for in-house restaurants and bars as well as room service.

Naomi Mori, manager of public relations and communications at the hotel, told TTG Asia she hopes the plans will increase the number of guests even a little at this difficult time.

The Hotel Granvia Osaka is also offering daily plans (nine hours) for remote working, from 8,500 yen for a single room and 10,000 yen for a deluxe single room. Extensions are available at 1,000 yen per hour until 20.00.

Full-service hotels are also providing dishes for takeout from their restaurants. Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s Fiorentina Pastry Boutique, for example, is serving seasonal soups and baked goods for takeout.

Caterers, meanwhile, are moving into B2C food delivery following the cancellation of in-person events.

Marybeth Boller, who trained in the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants and creates high-end cuisine for events in Tokyo, launched custom meal delivery service Nokasoul in April.

Although the idea for a custom meal business came last year, the pandemic forced Boller to “jump into the delivery service plan”.

She said: “I saw how every restaurant in New York closed in a matter of weeks. This made us move faster to launch.”

Once Nokasoul gets a regular customer base, Boller plans to offer catering again under the brand.

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