The carnivores who stood in line to get into this steakhouse will keep standing when they get in. No chairs at Ikinari Steak, which debuted in New York City last week. Customers eat standing up. That way, Ikinari can sell more steaks and make more money by serving more customers. And it hopes to get them in and out in 30 minutes.
No appetizers like creamed spinach on the one-page menu of this Japanese steakhouse chain; no desserts or coffee either. No incentives to stick around.
Customers like Jacob Navok and his wife Chihiro go first to the butcher station, order from one of three cuts—rib eye, sirloin and fillet—then choose how many ounces they want. The scale tells them this 5 ounce sirloin will cost $19.
“It’s morning. I didn’t want too big of a cut so it’s something a little bit less. I’m very happy with that,” said Jacob Novak.
Eli Kies got a chuck eye steak, salad, soup and rice. The cost was $20 (USD).
“I think it’s a really good experience because I can burn calories as I eat, right. I’m standing up. Keep good posture. And eating some protein, so not bad,” Kies said.
To make money, the restaurant must pull in 200 customers a day. Founder Kunio Ichinose plans to create a stand-up culture.
“When I wanted to open in New York, people said, “Hey, American people don’t want to eat steak when they’re standing,'” said Ichinose. “It was the same in Japan and there wasn’t a culture. Now there’s a culture.”
Ichinose has ambitious plans. He intends to open 10 locations in New York this year. And he aims to list his company on the Nasdaq in three years. That’s no bull.