• Feature

Burgers Made With True Spirits

  • delicious Japan
  • May 2020
Brozers', a gourmet burger specialist restaurant, was founded in 2000 in Nihonbashi Ningyocho, in Tokyo's historic Shitamachi area. We asked the owner, Mr. Kitaura, about the secrets to its success and popularity.

Akio Kitaura
President, Brozers

What were the reactions to "gourmet burgers" when you first started Brozers' 20 years ago?

Back then, there were no hamburgers at around ¥1,000, and ¥100 burgers were the norm. I thought I could sell 100 burgers a day, but sales didn’t go so well. I’d hand out leaflets for two or three hours before I’d finally get one person to come in. My sense of crisis was maxed out. In the end, all you have is spirit and determination. I had no options for getting out of it, so all I could do was get through it. When I was working with that kind of attitude, it gradually got better.

Did you take any special measures?

I believe that "product is communication". Just as conversation with someone reaches the ears as sound waves, the product is not just the ingredients, because the ideas and feelings of the person who made it reach the customer. Improving the quality of that communication puts that feeling on top, not just in the appearance and flavor. In fast food, you can’t put your soul into the product and provide it to the customer. Rather than chasing sales, the most important thing is to work diligently through the basics. Even in everyday life, you line up the shoes tidily, keep the entrance clean, wash and arrange the chopping boards, and when you do the basic things thoroughly, you can create good things through their accumulation. My motto is “do all the basics properly”.

What inspired you to found Brozers’?

When I was 22, I went to Australia for a year on a working holiday. I negotiated directly with a hamburger restaurant in the town of Glebe on the outskirts of Sydney, and worked there for a year. The starting point was that I thought I’d like to spread that taste and atmosphere to Japan.

What goal are you aiming for?

For example, if an athlete says they want to take a gold medal, I think becoming a gold medalist is part of the goal, even more than getting the gold medal itself. As a restaurant, and for myself personally, I want to be a presence that helps people to succeed, and leads people to success, as a model for people. One of my missions is for the restaurant to keep on serving as a model for the gourmet burger industry. My goal is to become a leadership presence to guide the gourmet burger field, with love and courage. To that end, I make my customers happy and reach my sales targets.

Locations: Ningyocho | Shintomicho | Nihonbashi Takkashimaya | http://brozers.co.jp