Jul 052012

Eccentric Sydney restaurant Wafu made headlines a few years ago over the owner’s strict insistence that diners followed her house rules.

A few weeks ago Wafu announced it would close and owner Yukako Ichikawa gave Sydney diners a serve of abuse on the restaurant’s site (currently down due to bandwidth issues).

There’s no doubt diners at Wafu had to accept Ms Ichikawa’s rules or else. Bring your own “doggie bag” or container and don’t waste anything or else you would be in trouble.

Wafu was a reflection of the owner’s beliefs, she wasn’t just running her business to make money. As she’s quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald,

“Wafu is viable, as a business, if I continue to accept inconsiderate, greedy people.

“But I couldn’t do it. Wafu has always been, and will remain, more to me than simply just another business.”

People often misunderstand why someone would start a business – it isn’t always about the money. Sometimes it’s because the founder or proprietor wants to do things differently, sometimes because they don’t want to work in an office anymore and sometimes it’s because they are unemployable anywhere else.

Often it’s because the business founders are sick of dealing with jerks. The freedom to refuse to do business or work with assholes is a great liberating feeling and something that those working in a corporation or government department will never experience.

Whatever the reason, those businesses reflect the owner’s personality and they have put their money, and their livelihoods, where their mouths are.

I wonder how many corporate warriors and armchair critics of Yukako Ichikawa have ever done that in their lives?

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