The countdown is still ticking for Gundam Café’s third strike on Tokyo Station this 20 December. However, the execs at Bandai Namco Holdings have already leaked plans to target all major urban markets across Japan with their unique blend of coffee, pasta, and bipedal war machines.
So if you live in a major city such as Osaka, Nagoya, or Hiroshima, you might get your hands on a Haro latte sooner than you think.
The original Gundam Café opened in Akihabara, Tokyo in April of 2010. Since then it has been hugely successful. That single shop attracts 400,000 yearly customers and generates well over 200 million yen (US$2.3M) in sales.
Their blend of mecha anime aesthetic and cuisine has earned them one (soon to be two) more locations in the metropolis at the rate of about one per year. According to Bandai Namco Holdings President Norio Ishikawa, “the Gundam fan base is nationwide, so there is a need to provide goods closer to wider groups of people.”
However, this strategy seems to be grander than simply giving more fans access to Gundam ice cube trays (available for 800円/US$9.60).
“Food is a part of entertainment” says Ishikawa. As such the company has pledged to give Gundam Café the same development and care as other businesses such as Namco Game Centers in Japan.
Their methodical plan is to target the most lucrative cities first after gathering the necessary intelligence. Then they will pick us off one by one – with delicious food and friendly service that is.
I for one salute Gundam Café and their fearless leaders. May their mobile suits descend on my city and liberate us from snooty cafés with jazz versions of Christmas carols. I got sick of those renditions after ten minutes of sitting in a coffee shop the other day.