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Meet the Marugame Masters

Marugame Udon was already a successful restaurant chain in Japan and the United States. When they decided to bring the ‘udon way of life for all’ to Europe, the team knew they needed quality training for all new staff members before opening their first premises in Liverpool Street, London.

We caught up with Keith Bird (Chief executive, Marugame Europe), Stephen Phillips (Head of operations, Marugame Europe), and Steph Moorhouse (Director,  Moorhouse Training) to hear about their experience incorporating gamified simulations into the European branches of Marugame Udon.


The next chapter 

Marugame Udon has always wanted to give their staff opportunities to forge a real career path, whether they want to develop in to restaurant managers, area coaches, or senior kitchen roles. 

Part of their mission is to help their customers find their new ‘favourite ritual’, and the same goes for the training provided. Whatever training they chose, it couldn’t be just another generic, tick box exercise project. They needed something that would help accelerate their business growth and truly add value to their employees and in turn, their customers. 

For effective hospitality training to happen, people need to understand where they’re working and the values of where they’re working.” 

– Steph Moorehouse, Director, Moorhouse Training


The future of hospitality training  

The entire hospitality industry has faced huge challenges since the pandemic. Now that things are slowly getting back to normal, the team at Marugame was ready to find their flagship workforce. 

Engaging a younger audience 

Coming out of the pandemic, the team knew that going forward, they would be engaging a younger workforce (average age of around 22). Therefore, whatever training they decided to provide needed to be geared towards their strengths. 

With 81% of the British population now owning a smartphone, mobile-friendly, gamified training seemed like the clear avenue to take. 

Create a less overwhelming onboarding process 

Starting a new role can be overwhelming for anyone.  The training needed to prepare teams as effectively as possible, regardless of how much or little restaurant experience they had. The Marugame dining experience is unique, so they needed the training to match. 

Keith, Steph, and Stephen all commented that the bitesize simulations allowed staff to approach their training in a much more manageable way. 

The ‘Marugame mastery’ journey designed by both Marugame and Attensi meant that all players had to have mastered a certain skill before they could move on to the next level. By the time they step into the kitchen, they have the knowledge and confidence to handle the heat.

Training programme

that is easily replicated and adaptable across future franchises.


that are easy to modify to coincide with new product launches.


to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment.

Mixed media approach

to keep content engaging and stimulating.

“I haven’t seen anything like Attensi before.” 

Stephen Phillips, Head of operations, Marugame Europe

An effective partnership

With decades of collective experience between them, Keith, Steph, and Stephen have all seen their fair share of training initiatives over the years. 

What made this experience different (and unlike any tick box exercise schemes in the past) was the collaborative approach between Marugame and Attensi. 

The Attensi team makes sure to fully understand how the business works and where and how they can add value with engaging gamified training solutions. 

“The Attensi team worked really well with our team. They delivered on their promises on time and on budget.”

– Keith Bird, Chief executive, Marugame Europe

To find out how Attensi can help get your organisation’s training off the ground, speak to one of our experts today:


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