Roasted sweet potatoes are a reassuring and tasty treat, whatever the weather, perhaps even surpassing the traditional roastie found alongside your Sunday beef and Yorkshire puds.
And there is perhaps only one thing that could make this even more of a perfect tummy warmer on a gloomy Wednesday: being served by a cheerful little dog with a welcoming smile and the most precious little legs you’ve ever seen.
Yep. A roasted sweet potato shop in Hokkaido, Japan, is in fact staffed by a dedicated dog entrepreneur, who channels his good boy skills to get that bread.
If you walk around in the Kiyota-ku residential area, Sapporo City, you might come across Ken-kun, a three-year-old shiba inu / store manager.
Ken-kun mans (dogs?) The counter of a small self-service restaurant called ‘犬 の 焼 き 芋 屋’ (which is conveniently translated in English as ‘A Baked Potato Shop’).
Photos and videos from Ken-kun hard at work are shared by a Twitter user, who is having fun with the way the sweet dog surprises his customers:
At first it seems that there is nobody and when someone approaches it, the face is stretched out like this.
When a customer comes by, Ken-kun pops his cute little head over the counter to greet them, undoubtedly barking the praise of his leg-fect potatoes.
Customers of course serve themselves, due to Ken-kun’s unfortunate lack of opposing thumbs. They open a white box in front of the store and put the money in a hole.
Although this is a unique and arguably ‘experimental’ dining experience, it is actually fairly affordable. You can get a tatty for 100 yen (69p).
Add and subtract, not the strong point of Ken-kun, you will not get a change. If you pay too much, this money – rightly – goes in the direction of turning Ken-kun into cookies.
With Ken-kun as a cuddly looking puppy cane, you would be forgiven if you think he is as soft as his brushable ears. However, thieves must be warned: if you try to flee without paying, he will run out and chase you.
I was personally a bit rubbish during my own years in customer service, with the attitude of a turtle and a permanently resting hangover face.
However, Ken-kun has taken over food from the food service like a pro. If I lived in the area, I honestly can’t figure out why I would go somewhere else for lunch …