Eggs ‘n Things Hawaiʻi President and CEO Yuka Nawano earned her business chops on the job, and has run her business with heart for the past eight years. The former Japanese interpreter and translator currently owns and operates three Eggs ʻn Things locations on Oʻahu. Yuka strives to uphold the 42 years of goodwill associated with the restaurant, which began as a mom-and-pop neighborhood eatery. “I need to be firm about what we can afford to do because my decisions impact the lives of my employees and their families,” Yuka says. Her success is rooted in trust, relationship building and placing her business first.
Eggs ʻn Things continues to prosper under her leadership, with each location drawing flocks of brunch-goers hungry to indulge in the sweet and savory, locally inspired fare, complete with Hawaiʻi-sourced eggs, beef and fish. “I see more breakfast-themed restaurants opening up locally as well as all over Japan,” Yuka says. She credits the growing popularity of the Hawaiian pancake to the wide influence Eggs ʻn Things has had throughout the Pacific. There’s typically a wait time of at least an hour at the 16 Japan locations.
In August 2014, Yuka opened the first Guam location in the tourist hub of Tumon. The process was challenging for Yuka and her staff. Proper infrastructure had to be installed in addition to building the restaurant to withstand typhoons. Hawaiʻi-based employees took turns setting up the restaurant and training local Guamanian employees for two to three months at a time. Yuka’s biggest business decision is yet to come as she decides when to retire. For now, she’s perfectly happy as Eggs ‘n Things CEO—or, in Yuka’s words, “Chief Eating Officer.”