25 July 2016

Menya Musashi vs Ajisen

I can't quite figure it out. Why is Menya Musashi so much better than Ajisen? I'm referring to their ramen. Menya Musashi's offer a range of "white", "black" and "red" ramen. The "red" ramen is probably for the masochists. I go with the "black" - it has a strong onion flavour. Burp.

The more cozy look and feel of Menya Musashi outlets are a lot more interesting, giving a more Japan-like "feel". Even the service staff seems a lot more motivated. Perhaps the smaller stalls allow them to provide a more steady rate of service? Or maybe they are better paid?

Or perhaps it's just the locales. Different place, different service?

Both are part of Japan Food Holdings. I think they should just consider replacing the Ajisen's with Menya Musashi's.

Japan Food hasn't been doing well of late on the stock market. It has been going downhill all the way for months. Yet, the company is holding steady with its revenue, although profitability has fallen. Dividend remains good, although nearly equivalent to its earnings. It has remained profitable.

Food is such a competitive market and is totally sensitive to labour costs. Given Singapore's labour shortage, it is quite a challenge for such businesses. It needs to find more productive ways of delivering the service.

I wonder if those 3-4 men shops that serve out ramen with long queues flowing out of the stores which I experienced in Tokyo may be a better deal? Rental is the other killer given our property prices.

Productivity, finding the next boundary to leap over. May be easier to catch a Pokemon?


GMGH said...

Nice post! I've actually never had Ajisen before, though I've walked past countless of outlets. I have universally heard lack luster things about them. I like how you brought up the comparison to tightly run shops in Tokyo! I've gone into ramen places in Singapore with so many staff... too many in my opinion!

I always wonder why Macs have been the pioneer company in Singapore to go into cashierless cashiers (at least partly). I think in Singapore, given the constraints on labour and space, vending machine style cashiers would be much more popular!

Lizardo said...


I gather there's some sense that the local market isn't as receptive to those self service pre-payment kiosk that we would see at Japanese ramen shops. But I do notice that those using ipad-type self ordering seems to work well enough - such as the Bak Kut Teh chain we see at numerous malls these days.

I think if the menu is simple enough, the whole user experience can be made seamless and hence achieve greater level of acceptance.