Meal Ticket Restaurant, A System Specific to Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Meal Ticket Restaurant, A System Specific to Japan

By Guidable Writers Nov 1, 2016

Have You Seen the Ticket Vendor?

Have you seen the ticket vendor like below? Maybe you had never seen it in your country. It is said that a system specific to Japan, and you could see it at several places these days. You might think it is usual that you order dish with staff. However, it is not customary to leave a tip for good service here in Japan, and that is why it is established. There are bunch of vending machines like drinks, newspapers, etc. and the ticket vendor is also one of strong support for busy Japanese people.


(Photo by Yuko)


What Are Meal Tickets?

Meal ticket is usually consisted of ticket and its stub. After you purchased meal tickets which you want to order, you surrender them at the place to order at kitchen. Then staffs detach tickets from stubs and they return them to you. The stub usually shows the name of dish and order number, and you will wait until they call your number. When yours are ready, they check order number and you can pick them up. When you purchase tickets and want the vendor to bring you back change, it doesn’t give it automatically and you have to turn knob or press button for change by yourself. This is kind of tips.


(Photo by Yuko)


Why Do They Use Meal Tickets?

First of all, to serve dish more quickly. Because the customers can order by themselves, the restaurants don’t have to ask their order and serve water. Then the restaurants definitely have many customers, and must exchange lots of money. When people are so busy, they tend to be in hurry and make a mistake. However, vending machines don’t give you wrong order or change and it is good for their account management.


(Photo by Yuko)


Where Are the Vendor Set Up?

You can see the vendor at the cafeteria which is in the railway station, school, office, service area or parking area of express way, etc. They all need to cope with many customers, and meal tickets play an important role there. Most of them serve similar dishes; special of the day, ramen, udon, curry, etc. which can serve quickly. Moreover, these price range is quite cheaper than restaurants because these cafeterias don’t have waiter/waitress and it doesn’t cost anything neither. Usually people can never bring your own dish or bento to restaurants, but at school or office cafeteria, you may bring it and eat there. When you have lunch break with your friends or co-workers, it is basically okay that you all stay there if you bring bento. If you don’t like bento and want to eat hot meal, the cafeteria and the meal ticket vendor also help you. Order quickly, and taste your meal slowly.


(Photo by Yuko)