Focus6 | Measures to Reduce Food Loss at Phoenix Seagaia Resort

Using all the ingredients to their fullest is one of the "Inspiring Experiences" for the guests and staff!
PINE TERRACE's head chef takes enthusiastic initiative to reduce food loss.


 Yudai Saiga

  PHOENIX RESORT CO., LTD., Hotel Business Division, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort Culinary Department 
 Yoko Yoshioka

  PHOENIX RESORT CO., LTD., Hotel Business Division, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort Culinary Department 
  PINE TERRACE Breakfast Leader
 Mieko Iwakiri
  PHOENIX RESORT CO., LTD., Executive Officer
  Hotel Business Division, Deputy General Manager / Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort General Manager

The SEGA SAMMY Group continues to provide extraordinary, “Inspiring Experiences” to everyone worldwide through its Entertainment Contents Business, Pachislot and Pachinko Machines Business, and Resort Business.
Phoenix Seagaia Resort, one of the main facilities, tries to be “The Most ‘Delicious’ Resort in Japan,” The pursuit of “deliciousness” extends beyond mere appearance and taste. Phoenix Seagaia Resort has developed its own sustainability vision, “A resort that rejuvenates people and the planet.” Additionally, we have established the Sustainability Promotion Section as a dedicated unit for sustainability. We brainstorm, implement, and disseminate sustainability activities daily, such as ensuring safety, caring for the environment, and contributing to local communities. This time, through our sustainability initiatives, we will delve into the challenges our staff face behind the inspiring experiences for our guests and explore their thoughts on these initiatives.

Phoenix Seagaia Resort

Location : Hamayama, Yamazaki-cho, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan
Facilities : Hotel, international convention center, hot spring, golf course, etc.
A resort facility that fully opened in 1994, joined the SEGA SAMMY Group in 2012.
In October 2017, the most extensive renovation since its opening was completed. The beautiful and majestic location, the spatial areas for utmost enjoyment, and the hospitality. Seagaia has evolved into a “New Seagaia,” and this extraordinary “experience” can only be enjoyed at Miyazaki Seagaia. Under the brand concept “The Most ‘Delicious’ Resort in Japan,” they continue to create new culinary experiences as a resort in “Miyazaki, the treasure trove of food.”
In April 2023, most of the G7 Miyazaki Agriculture Ministerial Meeting events were held at Phoenix Seagaia Resort. Phoenix Seagaia Resort successfully met the high-level demands of the G7 and received high praise from ministers of various countries. They were very impressed by the deliciousness of the ingredients and appreciated the treasure trove of food.

Phoenix Seagaia Resort Chefs’ Hopes


Our Efforts to Reduce Food Loss at PINE TERRACE



Phoenix Seagaia Resort has set three materiality goals: "Products and Services," "Human Resources," and "Environment." One of the goals under ‘Products and Services’ is to reduce food loss.

This time, we introduce two major initiatives from the Garden Buffet "PINE TERRACE," a buffet-style restaurant that focuses on the theme of "Miyazaki Terroir" (the deliciousness of local ingredients nurtured by the soil of Miyazaki). At PINE TERRACE, our chefs actively work to reduce food loss through insightful consideration and action.


The first initiative involves a change in the form of our business. In 2020, PINE TERRACE introduced a "brunch" service, combining breakfast and lunch to offer hotel guests a leisurely dining experience. Previously, all the dishes on the buffet line were replaced during every breakfast and lunch hour. With the introduction of the combined breakfast and lunch service, the dishes on the buffet line are now gradually replaced throughout the hours. This adjustment has resulted in a significant reduction in food loss.

The second initiative aims to minimize food waste by implementing practices to reduce excess food before and after placing dishes on the buffet line. Before being placed on the buffet, foods can be utilized in various dishes. However, despite the chef's creativity, some items still result in waste. For example, leftover lettuce scraps are not served to guests and unused bread are not placed back on the buffet line. We are thinking of ways to make effective use of these foods. Instead of just throwing them away, we collaborate with the Miyazaki City Phoenix Zoo, a nearby facility, to provide the leftover items to the animals.


On the other hand, any remaining food from dishes placed on the buffet line will be discarded. At PINE TERRACE, with our open kitchen, each chef understands the significance of serving freshly prepared food. We also strive to minimize waste by avoiding overcooking.


Staff-Approved Reliable Head Chef



Saiga, who was selected as head chef at the young age of 30, is taking the lead in efforts to reduce food loss at PINE TERRACE. We asked him what he thinks about his job as head chef.



I always remember that ”if you cannot care for your staff, you cannot care for your guests.” PINE TERRACE has a total staff of about 50 to 60 people in the kitchen and the hall. My goal is to talk to everyone as much as possible every day. One of the things I tell them is that ”what we find troublesome is what makes our guest happy. ”It means that the more time and effort we invest, the better the guests inspiring experience will be. I learned this from those before me who supported PINE TERRACE, and I want to pass on their teachings to my staff. I believe in leading by example and implementing these lessons rather than just discussing them.


According to staff member Yoshioka, there has been a change in the atmosphere in the PINE TERRACE kitchen since Saiga became the head chef.


I feel that communication has become very interactive. Chef Saiga cares about each staff member. He talks to them and listens to what they have to say even when he is busy! He is enthusiastic about improving PINE TERRACE and takes the initiative. I’m confident that’s why everyone is eager to “work hard together.” Now, the staff is becoming more vocal in expressing their opinions to the head chef.


We asked Saiga, who emphasizes communication with his staff, about how he stays mindful of food loss.



Miyazaki is the treasure trove of food. You can truly appreciate their flavors when you use delicious local ingredients in your cooking. After establishing a relationship with the growers, we believed that our mission was “to utilize all ingredients and convey the appeal of Miyazaki.” We communicate this to the purchasing department and the staff responsible for procuring ingredients, collaborating to find ways to reduce losses together. During the process, the staff realized that “it would be a waste if they generated food loss.” Numerous staff members from PINE TERRACE participate in employee study sessions, where growers are invited to educate them about food ingredients.

Reducing Food Loss through Zoo Collaboration: Thanks to Our Meticulous Staff!



Our ongoing endeavor to reduce food loss involves continuous trial and error and persistent effort. For instance, in the past, we undertook initiatives to repurpose lettuce and bread scraps not served to guests as animal food at the Miyazaki City Phoenix Zoo. Upon learning about this, Saiga consulted the Sustainability Promotion Division and attempted to revive the initiative, only to discover that certain conditions needed to be met. The reason behind this was that, to feed the food scraps to animals, it was necessary to remove the cores from the lettuce and sort out which bread was suitable for animals and which was not. Some staff members expressed confusion, stating, "Perhaps we'll need to take extra steps to the previously discarded food." Saiga convinced everyone, saying, “It doesn't necessarily mean adding extra work; it's simply a matter of more precise sorting than before. Let's give it a try!”


Yoshioka, who is responsible for collaborating with zoos, says a new sense of inspiration has emerged.



At times, I thought it might be challenging, but when I saw pictures of animals actually enjoying the food we provided, it brought me joy and gratitude. The food growers will be happy because no food goes to waste. I'm glad we made it happen.



Due to the Bird Flu outbreak, we were temporarily suspended from providing food to the recently reopened zoo. At that time, staff members questioned, "Wouldn't it be a waste to throw it away?" and "When will we be able to start again?" It was gratifying to see that they were starting to understand the significance of our activities.


Effective Communication for Guest Satisfaction: How Watching the Head Chef Changed Staff Mindsets

Saiga emphasizes that the most significant measure to reduce food loss is to “avoid cooking too much.”



In the past, we estimated the amount to be served for breakfast, prepared it and then placed it little by little on the buffet line. This requires less work for the staff, but the food loses its deliciousness over time. So, I decided to change our method, thinking making only the amount needed at a time would be better.

For example, when we make omelets right in front of our guests, we ask them to order no more than two at a time so that they can eat freshly made omelets. It’s better to pick up your food when you want it rather than having it set aside so it’s always served at its best. This will help reduce food loss and improve communication with guests. Nothing makes chefs happier than hearing someone say, “It was delicious, so I came back to get another one.”


Saiga emphasizes the importance for chefs to communicate the allure of their cuisine.



In the open kitchen, we are close to our guests, and we try to share the stories behind the locally-sourced ingredients we’ve carefully prepared and the deliciousness of the dishes crafted with them. Rather than just cooking and serving the dish, you can make your guests even more satisfied by communicating what kind of dish it is in your own words. We require an additional workforce, specifically more chefs, to serve food while engaging in thorough conversations with guests. While this may lead to increased costs, we believe it’s crucial to generate excitement among more guests and ensure they return in the long run.

The staff changed gradually when Saiga started talking with guests in the open kitchen. The idea that "chefs should be out front and talk to guests" became essential.


Saiga, who transformed the staff mindset, remains unpretentious, constantly interacting naturally with the staff.



We don't tell our staff to "brush up on their communication skills to talk with guests." At PINE TERRACE, we have staff with a wide range of experience, so the synergy between staff members improves their skills. I believe that the role of the head chef is to have conversations with each staff member, identify their strengths, and place the right people in the right jobs.


The Chef's Vision for the Future of PINE TERRACE



We asked them what kind of challenges they would like to tackle in reducing food loss at PINE TERRACE in the future.



The typical buffet style involves displaying dishes, but the issue is that the arranged dishes can dry out or become cold. We believe that food loss could be further reduced if we changed the style of preparing food after receiving the guests’ orders instead of displaying the dishes on the buffet line.



That’s right. Even if salads and other items are displayed the same way as before, envisioning a scenario where all main dishes are made-to-order at PINE TERRACE, with its many seats, would indeed make it the best buffet restaurant in Japan.

Yoshioka and Saiga envision PINE TERRACE that has evolved even further than it is today. What does it take to create a made-to-order buffet?



The most important thing is the awareness of the staff. We understand the value of ingredients, cook them to perfection, and serve them to our guests. Additionally, we communicate the quality of the ingredients and dishes to our guests through words. I believe the ideal restaurant is one where all chefs can achieve this. If we can train them with this kind of awareness, we should be able to create a made-to-order buffet.


Saiga fearlessly confronts challenges in his pursuit of ideals. He is persistent and consistently encourages his staff with the message, “Let’s all have fun together!”



Saiga: PINE TERRACE is a busy but fun place to work. I would like a variety of chefs to come to PINE TERRACE.

Saiga will continue to lead PINE TERRACE in reducing food loss and other initiatives.


Supervisor's Perspective on Supporting the Chef's Struggles


Trusting the Chef Drives Success in Food Loss Reduction



The Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort has several restaurants, and Saiga is the youngest chef among them. We asked what the general manager, Iwakiri, about her thoughts when entrusting Saiga with reducing food loss.



I wanted Saiga to leverage his youth and bring momentum to PINE TERRACE. I sensed a change in the atmosphere, and things are progressing well.

We believe the fastest way to reduce food loss is to empower on-site chefs. Saiga is a chef willing to try anything and persists until he can successfully accomplish it. We encouraged him to try whatever he wanted. I believe we have built a relationship of mutual trust and empowerment.


Iwakiri walks around the hotel daily to check on the employees. How does she communicate with the chefs at PINE TERRACE?



I receive reports directly from Saiga and the staff. If a report could contribute to sustainability activities, we may provide advice. Even things that may seem unrelated at first glance may lead to sustainability if you consider them more intently. I hope our staff will develop this kind of awareness.


We asked Iwakiri, about her perspective on the ongoing food loss reduction initiatives underway at PINE TERRACE.



When Saiga became the head chef, a movement to “take better care of ingredients'' began in the kitchen. We always keep in mind that Phoenix Seagaia Resort will be "The Most ‘Delicious’ Resort in Japan.” I believe I have come to take each initiative more seriously and think more deeply about the importance of connecting lives. The chefs at PINE TERRACE have a sense of responsibility for reducing food loss so I have no concerns about entrusting them with this task.

PINE TERRACE’s chefs have devised ideas and carried out activities to reduce food loss. Related departments, such as the purchasing department, have become more conscious of sustainability than ever before. I believe that we can collaborate between sustainability departments and that our daily efforts produce good results.


Future Collaboration for More Food Loss Reduction



We asked about their expectations toward chefs regarding future efforts to reduce food loss.



We would like to see PINE TERRACE continue its current efforts, such as providing food to the zoo. Each restaurant is making an effort. If we establish a system where restaurants are connected laterally, we should be able to create a system to eliminate wasted ingredients and further reduce food loss.

As a general manager, I decide things based on one simple rule: "Will this make someone happy?" My role is to bring happiness to others, not myself. What is more important than achieving numerical results is to make our guests happy. The starting line for reducing food loss is providing guests with safe and secure food. We will not change the core and will continue to collaborate with the chefs to advance our efforts.

Mr. Katagiri, Representative Director and President Executive Officer of Phoenix Resort Co., Ltd., commented on the chefs' independent efforts to consider sustainability.


Our resort is nestled in a beautiful and privileged environment, surrounded by a vast and lush black pine forest stretching along the warm and majestic Pacific Ocean in the Hyuga-nada Sea.

Our mission is to ensure our guests enjoy their resort stay to the fullest, leaving them feeling rejuvenated.

To fulfill our mission, our chefs provide safe and secure food. Furthermore, in the pursuit of becoming "The Most ‘Delicious’ Resort in Japan,” they create “food + experience'' (an inspiring experience) that will give you a sense of the extraordinary.


The SEGA SAMMY Group Striving to Provide Customers with Even More Inspiring Experiences

We introduced Phoenix Seagaia Resort and its employees, committed to working sincerely on sustainability while delivering excitement to guests through "food," on the journey to becoming "The Most ‘Delicious’ Resort in Japan.”


In the bountiful environment of Miyazaki, the treasure trove of food, the chefs hold producers and their ingredients in high regard. Managers trust and support the chefs. In addition, employees from various departments, such as the Sustainable Promotion Division and the Purchasing Department. Each individual contemplating what they can do and responding carefully while sharing ideas is the driving force behind our efforts to create "The Most ‘Delicious’ Resort in Japan.”


Phoenix Seagaia Resort's sustainability initiative is connected to the SEGA SAMMY Group's sustainability vision: "We at SEGA SAMMY believe our determination to enhance life with a rich and colorful stream of captivating experiences should be reflected in our approach to sustainability.” The SEGA SAMMY Group will continue to provide our customers with even more captivating experiences. We will continue to promote sustainability across the Resort business, the Entertainment Contents Business, and the Pachislot and Pachinko Machines Business as a whole group.


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