Japanese firm helps job seekers, restaurants match in Thailand

BANGKOK, NNA - A Japanese management consulting company is helping restaurant operators in Thailand fill job vacancies amid increasing demand for workers in the growing market for Japanese cuisine.

Tokyo-based Epoc Inc.'s subsidiary, Thai-Nippon Restaurants Recruitment Co., has arranged for about 100 applicants to land jobs since the launch of the service in June this year, according to Nakanad Waiyahong, managing director.

The company is planning to expand its job seeker database from the current 1,000 to 10,000 next year, he told NNA in a recent interview.

Through restaurant consultancy service for three years in the country, the company has "recognized that some of our clients are facing obstacles such as a labor shortage and unmatched needs," Nakanad said, adding that most Thai agencies focus on job-matching services for office workers.

The local unit, founded in June with a registered capital of 1 million baht (about $30,000), aims to serve growing recruitment demand driven by unabated Japanese investment in the sector in the Southeast Asian country, setting a service fee at a lower level than that of typical agencies that charge the equivalent of a two-month salary or 20 percent of an annual salary on clients.

The company provides recruitment service for a wide scope of jobs ranging from chefs and waiters to cashiers, managers and translators.

According to a survey by the Japan External Trade Organization, the number of Japanese restaurants in Thailand totaled 2,774 at the end of June, growing 2.2 percent from a year earlier despite a 0.8 percent drop in Bangkok, marking the first contraction since statistics became available in 2009.

Nakanad indicated that the number of eating outlets in the country will increase as a whole every year as the popularity of restaurants specializing in Japanese dishes such as ramen and sushi is still growing.

Thai-Nippon, meanwhile, is planning to begin operating a training center next year that provides several short certification courses related to hospitality, restaurant management and advanced cooking, aiming to cater to demand for general applicants and student trainees. (NNA/Kyodo)