Monday, February 25, 2013
Slappy Cakes Hit Sweet Spot With Pancake Lovers
TOKYO (Nikkei)-- Slappy Cakes, a pancake restaurant in the Lumine Est Shinjuku department store in Tokyo, has been packing in the customers, particularly young women, since it opened at the end of January.
Slappy Cakes is based in the U.S. state of Oregon. The Tokyo location is operated by Meal Works Co. under a franchise agreement. More than 350 people visit the restaurant daily, 80% of whom are women.
The restaurant has 62 seats. Of these, 36 have an electric griddle where customers can cook their own hot cakes the way they like them. First, they choose from three flavors of batter -- buttermilk, whole grain and peanut butter -- which costs 700 yen for a 160ml bottle. Customers can then choose from among 20 additional ingredients, ranging from chocolate chips to toasted almonds to cheese, and about 10 toppings, including whipped cream and apple sauce.
"This is like Okonomiyaki," said one woman enjoying a treat with a group of friends. "The pancakes cook fast if we put them in the middle of the griddle," said another. One 33-year-old woman, summing up the benefits of Slappy Cakes, said, "I can quickly cook whatever flavor I want to eat."
"We came here looking forward to cooking pancakes by ourselves. Some people are good at flipping pancakes while others cannot wait. It is fun to watch them because everyone is different," said a 32-year-old man from Mitaka, western Tokyo, who came to the restaurant with his colleagues.
(The Nikkei, Feb. 22 morning edition)