Specified Skilled Worker Food Service Industry

The Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) Program for the Food Service Industry in Japan is designed to attract skilled foreign workers to address labor shortages in the food service sector. This program aims to bring in individuals who can contribute to the industry’s growth and help meet the increasing demand for quality food services.


Address Labor Shortages

To fill gaps in the food service industry due to an aging population and declining workforce.

Enhance Service Quality

To maintain and improve the quality of service in restaurants, catering companies, and other food service establishments.

Cultural Exchange

To promote cultural exchange and diversity within the Japanese food service industry.

Eligibility Criteria

Skills and Experience

Applicants must have relevant skills and experience in the food service industry, such as working in restaurants, cafes, or catering.

Language Proficiency

Applicants must pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) at N4 level or higher, or an equivalent language test.

Skills Assessment

Applicants must pass a skills evaluation test specifically designed for the food service industry.

Industries Covered

The SSW program for the food service industry includes various sectors such as:


Including both Japanese and international cuisine establishments.

Cafes and Bistros

Small eateries offering light meals and beverages.

Catering Services

Companies providing food services for events, parties, and corporate functions.

Fast Food Chains

Quick-service restaurants offering fast food items.

Hotels and Resorts

Food and beverage services within hospitality establishments.

Job Roles and Responsibilities

Foreign workers under the SSW program can be employed in various roles, including:

Kitchen Staff

Preparing and cooking food, maintaining kitchen hygiene, and assisting with menu planning.

Service Staff

Taking orders, serving food and beverages, managing customer relations, and ensuring a pleasant dining experience.

Food Preparation

Prepping ingredients, handling food storage, and maintaining food safety standards.

Management Support

Assisting with inventory management, staff training, and overall operations management.

Working Conditions

Employment Contract

Workers must have a valid employment contract outlining job responsibilities, working hours, wages, and other terms of employment.

Labor Rights

Foreign workers are entitled to the same labor rights and protections as Japanese workers, including fair wages, safe working conditions, and social security benefits.

Support and Integration

Employers and support organizations assist with integration, including housing, language classes, and cultural orientation.

Application Process


Ensure all documents are prepared, including proof of skills, experience, and Japanese language proficiency.

Skill and Language Tests

Pass the necessary tests for the food service industry.

Job Offer

Obtain a job offer from a Japanese employer willing to sponsor the visa.

Visa Application

Submit the visa application through Japanese immigration authorities.

Benefits of the Program

Career Opportunities

The program offers foreign workers the chance to build a career in Japan’s dynamic food service industry.

Cultural Exchange

Workers have the opportunity to experience Japanese culture and contribute to a multicultural work environment.

Skill Development

On-the-job training and experience help enhance professional skills and career growth.

Challenges and Considerations

Language Barrier

Continuous improvement in Japanese language skills is crucial for effective communication and integration.

Cultural Adaptation

Adapting to Japanese workplace culture and societal norms can be challenging for foreign workers.

Support Systems

Availability of support services for foreign workers, including legal assistance, housing support, and cultural orientation, is vital for successful integration.

Impact on the Industry

The SSW program has been instrumental in addressing labor shortages in Japan’s food service industry. By bringing in skilled foreign workers, the program helps maintain high standards of service and operational efficiency. The presence of international staff also adds to the diversity and cultural richness of the food service sector, benefiting both businesses and customers.

The Specified Skilled Worker Program for the Food Service Industry is a strategic initiative by the Japanese government to ensure the sustainability and growth of the food service sector. It provides valuable opportunities for skilled foreign workers to contribute to and thrive in Japan’s dynamic food service industry, fostering mutual growth and cultural exchange.

How to Apply?

Tell us a little about yourself and we’ll help with the rest. Our convenient online application tool only takes 10 minutes to complete.

After you submit your application, an admissions representative will contact you and will help you to complete the process.

Once you’ve completed your application and connected with an admissions representative, you’re ready to create your schedule.


Are you ready to take the next step toward your future career?