What could a restaurant owner learn from Fujifilm?


Do you know what happened to Kodak films? When was the last time you used their film to take a picture? Kodak was once a household name in the US, dominating the 90% film sales in 1976. Then came Fujifilm, a Japanese company that started to sell films. At its height, Fujifilm reached 17% US market share in 1997. Sometime in the '90s, the digital camera started to come to the consumer market, slowly, but surely capturing our attention (and lots of pictures also). Gradually demand for film kept declining until Kodak filed Bankruptcy protection in 2012. Kodak is still in business, but not what the company used to be. We can assume the same happened to Fuji Film, right? Not exactly. Fujifilm saw the declining future of film business long before the digital cameras dominated the market. So, they decided to pivot the company. They thought of adapting their existing nanotechnology in making photographic films. What they realized was brilliant. The nanotechnology allowed them to manufacture cosmetic products with finer pigments, which allowed more skin penetration (this is my interpretation from what Fujifilm's website says). Now you may be wondering, what does nanotechnology has to do with Restaurants and Coronavirus? Interestingly enough, two things. One. A restaurant (or any business for that matter) can start thinking about pivoting your direction, just like Fujifilm did. What are the unique skills, services, technologies, recipes, methods your restaurant have? Is there a way to adapt it to an entirely different filed other than food? There was an article about an Italian Pizza restaurant in Tokyo, who started to sell take-out "Okonomiyaki" (Japanese savory pancake) during the coronavirus shutdown to make up for the lost dine-in sales (I suppose its equivalent of French restaurant start serving Mac'n cheese?) Okonomiyaki turned out to be a big hit - they are selling out every day. The lesson for the story is this: sometimes, the best solution lies in an opposite direction from where we've been focusing on. The second relationship between Fujifilm and Coronavirus is Avigan. It's a drug approved by China and Indonesia as a cure for Coronavirus. Guess who makes it? By Toyama Chemical, which is s subsidiary of Fujifilm. As part of its diversification, Fujifilm acquired Toyama Chemical in 2008. (now Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd.) So, you may not be as big as Fujifilm to buy other companies, but then, we all can start thinking about diversifying our business. Be Fujifilm or Kodak? We can learn from both companies. #restaurantrecovery

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