Enriching Dining Experiences

By Taro Yoshida
Wednesday - September 16, 2009
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By Taro Yoshida
Director of WDI International-Hawaii

WDI International may not be a household name in Hawaii, but many of you have patronized our affiliated businesses, such as Tony Roma’s (California, Hawaii, Guam), Taormina Sicilian Cuisine and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener in Hawaii; and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (Japan, Indonesia), California Pizza Kitchen (Japan), Capricciosa (Japan, Guam, Saipan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan), Hard Rock Café (Japan), Inakaya (New York) and numerous other restaurants in the U.S., Japan and around the globe.

Established in 1954 in Japan, WDI is an international company with both wholly owned restaurants and restaurant management contracts. WDI gained momentum in the restaurant industry in 1974 with the opening of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Roppongi, Tokyo. Since then, our company has grown to 17 restaurant brands with more than 180 locations around the world.

Our mission is to enrich the dining experiences of all of our guests by providing a high level of personal service, quality food and a relaxed atmosphere in which to dine. Our objectives are:


* To participate in the prosperity of our community through our restaurants.

* To closely monitor trends and evolve.

* To design restaurant concepts to provide our guests with a unique and memorable dining experience.

* To strive for a reasonable profit and stable growth.

* To explore challenging business on a global level.

Peter Zwiener, Beth and Dog Chapman and Wolfgang Zwiener at the grand opening of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

In 2006, we opened our first-ever original concept restaurant for WDI called Taormina Sicilian Cuisine. It is located at Waikiki Beach Walk, the new premier hotel-retail-entertainment redevelopment in the heart of Waikiki.

Taormina is an authentic Italian restaurant featuring Sicilian cuisine with a taste of Hawaii and fresh local ingredients. The food is delicious - simple but dynamic, authentic but creative, created by our executive chef Yoshifumi Shibata. Our wine list includes more than 150 excellent selections. The decor is modern and sophisticated, yet still intimate and relaxed, with both indoor and outdoor seating.

In February of this year, the fourth and newest Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener opened in Waikiki at Royal Hawaiian Center. Famous for its Porterhouse and other mouth-watering steaks and its in-house dry-aging room, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse has welcomed a full house of locals and visitors since its celebrated debut, despite opening at the height of the economic crisis and lower tourism numbers. Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Waikiki and Beverly Hills are jointly operated by Zwiener and WDI International Inc. Zwiener owns and operates the flagship restaurant on Park Avenue in New York and his Tribeca location. Wolfgang’s Steakhouse also will be opening soon in South Beach, Fla., and Mexico City.

My goal for WDI in Hawaii is to make sure our restaurants and partner restaurants perform to their optimum ability. WDI and our partners have the same mission: to create the best customer experience. When we provide a quality product and give the customer the best experience, even high-end restaurants can fare well in this economic downturn because the customer recognizes the value - in the food, the service, the ambience, the whole experience. Quality and value are key to success.


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