This time, we visited Hallo Day Co., Ltd. that runs a popular supermarket business mainly in Fukuoka, Japan, under the concept of creating an Amusement Food Hall. We interviewed them on their daily hygiene control activities.
Hallo Day Co., Ltd.
• HQ location: Fukuoka, Japan • Line of business: Supermarket (Amusement Food Hall). • Number of offices: 49 • URL: http://www.halloday.co.jp
Can you give us an outline of Hallo Day?
The late Hisanori Kaji (passed away on April 7, 2014), the former chairman, started Kajiya Co., Ltd. in December 1958 and began expanding into supermarkets. In 1988, the name was changed to Hallo Day. Unfortunately the chain fell into financial crisis by expanding to convenience stores and restaurants during the bubble economy. The current president Keito Kaji started working for Hallo Day in 1989 and helped reestablish itself. He strived to make Hallo Day the “most wanted company to work for in Japan”. Mr. Kaji has been president since 2008. We now have a total of 49 stores including 40 Hallo Days, 5 Bon Repus’s and 4 Kumamoto Hallo Days, mainly in Fukuoka, Simonoseki City, Yamaguchi and Kumamoto City.
I heard the way you manage stores is very unique.
We think of stores as an amusement food hall. Each store has a different concept, seasonal decoration and products so that customers can enjoy shopping. We have a wide variety of goods and display them in an attractive and entertaining way to customers. We also want to create a fun environment with events such as our live corner where we have live cooking for customers. We also have a cooking support corner to provide information about recipes, unique foods and how to use cookware. The eat-in corner is where customers can enjoy food and drinks.
What do you do for food safety and security?
Hygiene control needs to be improved as the company’s size has gradually gotten bigger in recent years. We make every effort to reduce costs while improving hygiene control. Aiming for a better working environment, we even conduct maintenance of our kitchen equipment and resurfacing of cutting boards in-house. SARAYA made various suggestions on how to choose proper cleaning chemicals, how to manage cleaning processes and also has provided educational support. Hygiene control has many factors. We squeeze the overall expenses of facilities, equipment, detergents, education and management and create a budget. We are very pleased with the current cost-effectiveness of our system.
I heard you conduct in-house hygiene inspections.
Each perishable department conducts visual audits and swab tests with an ATP device, at seven check points. This is set according to each kitchen’s product. Three inspectors check all the stores every month, and we recognize stand-out stores based on the results every three months. It is convincing and very useful to confirm the effectiveness of a washing method because you can see the results promptly with an ATP swab.
I heard it is easy for employees to look up inspection results.
We use blue, yellow and red magnets on a sign board depending on the result for each check point. Hygienic conditions improve effectively since it is easy to see what is or is not good about each department and to compare with other departments.
How did SARAYA get involved with your efforts?
SARAYA does workshops for store managers and each department head, also conducts regular inspections for all of our stores. SARAYA helps raise sanitary levels of a few stores picked by their food safety instructors based on inspection results.
How is employee hygiene education done?
Basically, each department head educates their employees. Since there is always a gap in knowledge and experience among department heads, we try to raise employee awareness by making suggestions for improvement depending on monthly inspection results and by guiding employees on specific points. We also use SARAYA’s DVD to educate new part-timers how to wash hands and how to wash knives or cutting boards. We strive to establish each store’s independent hygiene control system and follow-up system.
I heard Hallo Day Kasuga had a full time quality controller.
We used to get complaints about contamination and expiration dates from customers. We started a store sanitation and freshness patrol from the customer’s perspective to deal with these complaints. After that, the complaints decreased.
What is it that makes being a quality controller worth it?
Even a part time quality controller must make the same judgments that a store manager would have to make when it comes to hygiene. But not everything is easy depending on the individual idea of each department. Employees’ hygiene consciousness has been gradually changing within each department.
What is next for hygiene control at Hallo Day?
In a store that mainly sells perishables, hygiene and freshness control is critical and the top priority that affects our customers’ health. It means that employees need to work with the same level of hygiene consciousness. We will raise that level of knowledge and consciousness among store managers and department heads as key persons and educate all employees including new ones in order to raise the hygiene level. We would like to raise employees’ consciousness level by continuing to share information with SARAYA.
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