Would you like to eat directly by the seaside, having your meal at the high-altitude restaurant at 2.100 meters, dining with a splendid view to the whole city or enjoy super-romantic dinner at the center of the stage? All of this is possible, with today’s approach of how we perceive the experience. Nowadays, people all not the same as they were decades ago. They want to experience, not only get through because it is a necessity or some social/natural need.
We live in a world where demands of customers are rising, along with brand awareness or personalization, and which provides us with wide opportunities to experience something “extra” to what we would normally expect. It is nice when the sensations, emotions, and experience all come together, making it “unforgettable”.
One of such experience can be found in Tokyo, so-called “Ninja Akasaka” . It is a themed restaurant, Ninja themed as you might have expected, and be sure it will trigger all senses within you. From the outside, it looks like some hideout with simple black doors, from which probably you would not be able to tell much. Once you enter though, a ninja will appear in front of you, greeting you and giving a giving you a secret password, and then lead you through a labyrinth and several wooden corridors, which are designed as an interior of a Shogun-era Japanese castle . The final destination, “Ninja Village”, is hidden to the naked eye. It is a pretty mysterious place. Have a look yourself:
They serve Japanese food as well as the Western one, making it very popular to visit not only for foreigners but also for people all around Japan. Talking about visitors, this is a place which even Lady Gaga or Steven Spielberg visited in the past, so that much about its uniqueness.
And the concept itself? It utilizes a lot of Experience Economy’s elements to provide “ultimate experience” to their guests. First of all, the employees of a restaurant have to enjoy their work and must have throughout knowledge not only of the restaurant and menu itself but also around the surrounding and be prepared to answer any question from the potential guest. The staff creates the image of the restaurant. And let me say, that they have nailed it.
From the review on both TripAdvisor and Google, it is clear that restaurant’s personnel know what they are doing, and are doing their work with passion . I have gone through tens of reviews, from families, couples or solo to business and friends’ visits, and mostly you would not find a negative review complaining about staff’s attitude. Of course, as every facility, is has some negative reviews, but in comparison to the good ones, it does not say much.
If we compare it with the Experience Pyramid, which describes what a meaningful experience means, we will get the answer to how good they perform when it comes down to the experience itself.
From this PoW, it fulfills individuality expectations, as they are able to provide an individualized experience to every guest/group of guests. It is also authentic when reproducing the environment to full reality extent. Throughout the restaurant, various “ninja” elements are being used and telling the story about the purpose of the Ninja Akasaka Restaurant. Thus being said, the senses are also influenced a lot. Last, but not least, the interaction is represented by staff, which does great work, as mentioned above.
As a result, the guest can create its own expectations prior to the arrival, and I suppose he or she will be able to get a positive experience since they will most probably pass through all to levels to the experience/emotional part. I am not sure though if one would be able to reach the change/mental level of the pyramid. I think it is possible, but the probability is low in my opinion. But who knows, maybe someone will gain new ways of thinking, a point of view or even ninja will become the hobby.
 http://www.ninjaakasaka.com/  http://twistedsifter.com/2011/12/bizarre-theme-restaurants-in-tokyo-japan/  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066443-d1010352-Reviews-NINJA_AKASAKA-Chiyoda_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html  https://www.google.dk/search?q=Ninja+Akasaka%2C+Chiyoda&oq=nin&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i60j0l2j69i60j69i57.1392j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8  https://publications.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/100709/Alapuranen_Pipsa.pdf?sequence=1 https://hbr.org/1998/07/welcome-to-the-experience-economy
List of other sources:
http://www.esade.edu/cedit2003/pdfs/danielafreund.pdf https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/77997/Lindholm_Sofia.pdf;sequence=1 https://www.joe.org/joe/2007april/iw4.php https://beyondphilosophy.com/could-you-be-left-behind-by-the-experience-economy/ http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/worlds-most-unique-dining-experiences#!6-on-stage-dining-at-the-hungarian-state-opera-house-state-opera-houses-stage http://www.strugglingnetpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/memorable-experience.jpg