Pineapple, Pepperoni with extra S.a.a.S

Pizzatarian/Entrepreneur Derek Thomas's tips and wisdom, fresh outta the oven

You’ve all eaten there, the real first choice of any date in Roppongi before a movie: Pizzakaya, the place for real pizza.

We sat down to interview one of the owners, Derek about his success and hear some words of wisdom most IT/software companies should bend an ear to.

Q: How long have you been in the food business in Japan?

A: 12 years now since coming aboard to Pizzakaya, in addition to pizza, I am a professionally trained pastry chef having studied at the CIA. That’s the Culinary Institute of America.

I also conduct pastry/baked goods R&D projects and have had my work sold in Tully’s, Starbucks, Ikea, Mini-Stop, Disneyland and many other places in Tokyo.

Q: With most food businesses not lasting long due to ever-changing Tokyo tastes and fads, what’s your secret?

A: Quite simple, we pay our staff well (higher than average), never cut corners on our ingredients, come up with new menu items from time to time and love sharing our pizza with people.

Q: Any other tips for businesses outside of the food industry?

A: 1. Be consistent and don’t run off with new ideas all the time. 2. Stick to your basic business and customer revenue streams, focus to make THOSE bigger and more secure. 3. Do your homework. We made mistakes before by reaching out too suddenly or in areas that were not our main focus, got a hard lesson from that. 4. Know your customers and always having their favorites waiting for them creates a trusting relationship that ends up in your pocket over the years. 5. Let your clients spend money easily with your business.
We do anything our clients want with our pizza, bulk delivery, parties, kashikiri-lunches & workshops (yes, you can rent our place for a business-lunch seminar, we have a large screen for presentations).

Q: What are some new ideas on the horizon for you?

A: Can’t tell you all of them (laughs), but one is, corporate accounts. Our pizza reduces tension, creates a relaxed atmosphere and goes perfectly with company parties, project launches and big sales meetings. Nothing helps you think better than a cold drink over fresh oven-baked pizza. Are you listening, IT firms? Rather than think of how best to force your clients into your methodology or technology, have a slice of wisdom from Pizzakaya, medium or large, goes great with a soda.

Pizzakaya's website:

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