Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant

Customer: Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant
Interviewee: Mr. Yoshiyuki Yoshida, General Manager of Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant
Customer since: October 2017

Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant welcomes reservations from visitors around the world. It is located in Japan’s historic and picturesque city of Nara. What sets the property apart is that guests get to stay in a traditional establishment built by Yamato-miya carpenters.

Yoshida and a customer

Mr. Yoshida and a guest of Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant

We had a chance to sit down and speak with Mr. Yoshiyuki Yoshida, the General Manager of the property who has been involved since the planning and conception of the hostel in 2015.

Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant is the first project initiated by the “Nara Prefecture Tourism Activation Fund” which was formed under the supervision of Mayor Nakagawa to create a new image for Nara and increase inbound tourism.

inside

The pillars and beams in the hostels lobby are created by the craftsmanship of the Miya carpenter. An old furnace for offering to the gods of Kasuga Taisha also remains.

The number of visitors to Nara grow year by year. This meant that Naramachi also got more guests. Around 90% of its customers come from both Europe and Asia. As these numbers grow, the hostel started to face problems from no shows.

Dealing with no shows

No show is a common problem in the hospitality industry. It’s when a guest makes a reservation in advance but does not show up at the accommodation on the date. For a fairly new establishment like Naramachi the loss has a lot of impact on the business.

For Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant, when guests book through online travel agencies or through the hostel’s official website, they only have the option of local settlement on the day the guest arrives at the property. This means that whenever there’s a no show, prior preparations go to waste, and the property is not able to collect the cancellation fee.

Resorting to card payments

To diminish the loss caused by no shows, the property decides to introduce card payments. This means that guests would have to make payments in advance. Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant is a small scale establishment, meaning that installing systems typically used by large-scale developments is not the most realistic option as it would be very expensive.

Although large-scale development is not possible, the property knew exactly that it wanted to introduce card payments. Then began the relationship between Naramachi Hostel & Restaurant and Omise.

Naramachi adopted Omise’s link payment feature. The functionality allows the staff to create a payment screen from the Omise dashboard and send it as a link to their guests. The staff attaches a payment link to the reservation confirmation email and receives payment. This solves a lot of hassle and unnecessary loss due to no shows. The feature is also available right away. No system development or initial cost required.

Some of the staff at the site said, “Operations is easy and very convenient.” Mr. Yoshida also added that, ”We felt that Omise's payment service is the best match because we just started a new business and wanted to keep spending minimal."

nakaniwa

Guests at the restaurant can enjoy a delicious meal with a view of the Japanese-style garden

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