Skylark Co., Ltd. relies on in-house sales support team to customize marketing materials for its multiple restaurant brands using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
Produce a variety of tailored sales and marketing tools in-house
Increase production efficiency
Streamline software license management
Reduced production costs by 80%
Respond quickly to marketing requests
Efficient integration of fonts and stock photos
Streamlined license management
Managing multiple brands
Skylark Co., Ltd. manages a wide array of well-loved restaurant businesses in Japan, including Gusto, Bamiyan, and Jonathan. The company, which started as a grocery store in the Tokyo suburbs, expanded into the family restaurant business in 1970. Since then, Skylark has aggressively developed its brands and grown to include numerous restaurants. The company now operates more than 3,000 restaurants, and more than 4 million people a year enjoy meals at Skylark restaurants in Japan alone.
Skylark has experienced continuous growth over many years. However, with the rise of new competitors and the shift in consumer preference for ready-made meals, competition in the food service industry has become increasingly more intense. Skylark’s biggest strength has been its management of multiple brands. “The market and consumer needs are ever changing,” says Katsuya Ando, Restaurant Operation System Group Sales Support Team Leader for Skylark Co., Ltd. “Companies developing only one single brand have difficulties responding to those changes, and are often left with no choice but to withdraw from the market. However, our company has more than 20 brands, so we are able to swap out one brand for another at a given location. This is a quality unique to Skylark and isn’t something that other companies are doing. Brand diversification allows us to do this.”
“We are now able to centrally manage licenses, anywhere from our web development division to the sales promotion division, all from a single screen using the Admin Console in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.”
Leader of the Headquarters System Team of the Information Systems Group, Skylark Co., Ltd.
In-house production of location-specific marketing tools
As a pioneer in the family restaurant business, Skylark’s greatest strength is its willingness to tackle new challenges. One example is an effort to create designs tailored to each local area for menus, point of purchase (POP), and other sales promotion tools placed on restaurant tables. The sales support team led by Mr. Ando was established in November 2015 specifically for this purpose.
“We have 1,300 Gusto restaurants nationwide, and until now, we created the same sales promotion tools for each one,” says team member Hiromichi Taniguchi. “Now, we aim to produce tools that reflect the identity of each restaurant. If a restaurant is located in an office district, we create promotions that emphasize happy-hour, and if a restaurant is located in a residential area, we create tools that focus more on take-out orders.”
An external company continues to produce standard menus used nationwide, while the in-house sales support team uses Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to produce area-based sales promotion tools based on requests filed by each location manager. Restaurant banners are also designed in-house and, as a result, production costs have been reduced to one-fifth of what they were previously. The company is currently contemplating the use of digital signage for more detailed sales promotions based on customer arrival times. Skylark is able to respond precisely to requests and quickly deploy popular promotion tools across Japan, while maintaining a limited budget and aiming for sales increases.
“It’s very convenient to search for Adobe Stock images from directly within the desktop application.”
Sales Support Team Member, Skylark Co., Ltd.
Services streamline workflows and increase efficiencies
As part of the sales support team, eight staff members including Chiho Takematsu create the actual design work. Ms. Takematsu primarily uses Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, but her favorite Creative Cloud offering is Adobe Stock, which provides access to more than 60 million stock photos. What differentiates Adobe Stock from its competitors for Ms. Takematsu is its simplicity and the roll-over feature that lets users roll over license allotments from months when not as many images are needed.
“It’s very convenient to search for Adobe Stock images from directly within the desktop application,” says Ms. Takematsu. “Previously, I had to launch my browser, search for a stock photo, save the data in a folder, and then transfer that data into an application. Compared to the previous process, Adobe Stock is very easy to operate.”
In addition to the abundance of Japan-specific images, such as dashi and miso, Ms. Takematsu appreciates the ease with which illustrations can be used as design elements and the ability to easily conduct searches within Adobe Stock. The sales support team can find images much faster, making it possible to accelerate in-house production of individually tailored promotion tools requested by each restaurant.
Ms. Takematsu also speaks highly of Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries, which make it easy to save a selected image. “With design jobs, it’s rare to get approval on the first attempt,” she says. “Even when a stock photo is used, sometimes the photo must be replaced, so the ability to save numerous photos as potential candidates in Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries in preparation for the possibility of replacement is very convenient.”
Ms. Takematsu also uses the font service Adobe Typekit to produce sales promotion tools. “I often use the handwriting fonts available in Typekit for emphasis,” she explains. “Some of our staff members have also started using Creative Cloud Market, which includes vector images and background materials.”
From left to right: Kazumasa Sakai, Headquarters System Team, Information Systems Group, Corporate Support Headquarters, Skylark Co., Ltd; Katsuya Ando, Sales Support Team Leader, Restaurant Operation System Group, Skylark Co., Ltd; Hiromichi Taniguchi, Sales Support Team, Restaurant Operation System Group, Skylark Co., Ltd; Chiho Takematsu, Sales Support Team, Restaurant Operation System Group, Skylark Co., Ltd
Improved license management
Improved efficiency in license management available with Creative Cloud for teams is also a major benefit to Skylark Co., Ltd. “We previously established a website development team and used Creative Suite for in-house production,” says Kazumasa Sakai, Leader of the Headquarters System Team of the Information Systems Group at the corporate support headquarters of Skylark. “However, Creative Suite has separate Windows and Mac versions, which made it difficult to manage. As well, some packages had to be purchased individually by departments.
“As a company, we felt a strong need to streamline the license management process to properly understand the number of licenses and users. We also wanted to ensure a smoother exchange of data between our cooperating companies, so we migrated to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. As a result, we are now able to centrally manage licenses, anywhere from our web development division to the sales promotion division, all from a single screen using the Admin Console in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. The ability to accurately understand everything from the number of licenses we own to the usage status is a great help.”
About Skylark Co., Ltd.
The Skylark Group offers delicious food in a safe, secure, and comfortable environment with a wide range of table-service-based restaurants as its core business, including Japanese, Western, and Chinese cuisines. The company currently operates 3,015 restaurants in Japan and 3,061 restaurants worldwide.