Friday, June 6, 2008

Local Japanese restaurant practice

I have lunch with my wife today in a Japanese restaurant. As today weather is miserable with downpour, that's why the place was packed. I didn't know that they have changed their rule of matching customers to tables. Unlikely many local restaurants that you can reserve your seat or at least walk in and get a table while waiting for your friends, this restaurant doesn't allow neither of that. It has a sign of 'no table for customer without food on a plate'. So, when my wife was in line getting foods while I came in late. After I arrived, I was not allow to get any spare seat that was available. I had to join my wife in line to grab our plate, then, we were allowed to get any spare seat. At first, I was kinda frustrated, but the waitress and a Japanese waiter kinda insisted on that rule. Sure a person who believe in civil manner. I complied with them. After helping my wife to get the foods, sure we got 2 sofa seats by the window. The foods were decent, but what get me interested was to see how another customers who didn't know the rule reacted.

There were several OLs (office ladies), just walked in and grab empty seats that the saw while waiting for their companions. Perhaps, the waiters were busy with other customers or picking up trays. However, those OLs were being told of the rule and some of them did complied with it, but some didn't until repeated requests by the waiters. I think one of the OLs even walked out of the restaurant.

My wife told me that she had seen the same rule being applied in Japan when she was there. So, I guess it is a cultural thing. Then, I told my wife, it is ok to apply this rule in the business district here. If it is applied elsewhere locally or even in China, I'm sure some customers will simply ignore the waiters or even scolding, yelling at them. Those kind of bully behaviors will be expected. Come to think of it, I think this rule actually is not a bad thing, particularly for those who are single patron coming in by him/herself and just wanna get a quick one. This way, they will be almost gurantee a seat. I remember how bad I felt before when I dined alone and holding a tray waiting for an empty chair while other folks seemed not leaving. So, I can ampathize those customers and think that it is kinda fair to them. So, next time, I happen to be in the area and need to dine alone, it will be a place to go. If I wanna go with my wife or anyone else, we better go together or else.

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