The restaurant industry may be known for its cutthroat competition, but a few establishments in Japan have started to take a more socially aware approach to winning the hearts of customers.

At a restaurant in central Tokyo, owner Sekai Kobayashi has drawn ideas from the traditional Japanese shokudō (dining hall) — casual, often family-run eateries serving locals with inexpensive dishes — as she takes the dining experience in a new direction that she hopes will be a blueprint for a successful future.

Appropriately enough, the name of her restaurant in Tokyo's Jinbocho district, an area famous for its secondhand bookstores, is Mirai Shokudo, meaning "future dining hall."