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Japanese Take-out Shocks Foreigners: See Why!

Japanese Take-out Shocks Foreigners: See Why!

Date published: 9 September 2020
Last updated: 22 January 2021

Take-out is becoming more popular because of COVID-19. With many restaurants implementing take-out service, you can now enjoy at home food that used to be available only in stores.

It seems that Japanese take-out surprise a few foreigners. Today, we asked them what it was that shocked them about Japanese take-out.

When do you use take-out?

When do you use take-out?

First of all, we asked how people decided to use takeout.

"I went for take-out because I wanted to eat peacefully at home." (Woman/Chinese)

"I use take-out when I'm tired and I want to relax at home." (Woman/Canadian)

"Because it's convenient and easy to have a variety of meals. I often used take-out. Recently, with the spread of COVID, shops that had not offered take-out, now do, so there is an even wider range of options." (Man/American)

Our interviewees use take-out because they can enjoy their meals at home and save themselves the trouble of cooking.

I often hear that Japanese people have started using take-out for the same reasons, so there seems to be no difference between Japanese people and internationals.

Some other reasons that Japanese people mentioned regarding using take-out are "to reduce the number of times they go to the supermarket," and as an "alternative to eating out." Some foreigners are probably enjoying take-out for the same reasons.

I was surprised I could get this food as take-out!

I was surprised I could get this food as take-out!

"I have used take-out for pizza, dumplings, udon, and fast food. I was surprised by the amount of take-out options." (Woman/Chinese)

"I took out a hamburger steak. I think the price was around 800 yen. I also used take-out from a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant." (Woman/Canadian)

"I was particularly impressed by the ramen take-out. There are various ways to serve it, like hot in a cup, or with frozen soup. They are always delicious and filling." (Man/American)

There are a wide variety of dishes for take-out, like fast-food, pizza, curry, Chinese food, sushi, and ramen. It's fantastic that we have even a ramen take-out! Many people may have the image of ramen being an in-store only dish. Still, with the increasing popularity of take-out, it may become commonplace to eat ramen outside of stores.

Some restaurants also offer hot-pot and shabu-shabu, also difficult to carry outside of the store, like ramen. The preparation is designed so that you can enjoy the same quality you would in the shop, even at home. You just need to put the ingredients in the pot and fire it up.

That's all you need to enjoy delicious hot-pot and shabu-shabu! Given how easy it is, they will surely be popular take-out items during the cold months of the year. Not only foreigners, but also Japanese people are surprised by the variety of foods available for take-out.

The portions are as big as the ones at the store--but they are cheaper!

The portions are as big as the ones at the store--but they are cheaper!

"I always use take-out when I'm by myself. The price may seem a little high, depending on the store, but it's almost the same as eating in the restaurant, and it's convenient when I'm busy." (Woman/Chinese)

"I was surprised because it was cheaper than eating at a restaurant. It was still hot when I got home. The portions were the same size as when eating at the restaurant." (Woman/Canadian)

"I felt that the price was lower than when eating at the restaurant." (Man/American)

Did you know that there are restaurants where you can have food at a lower price when taking out? Some shops offer up to 50% discounts. No wonder foreigners are shocked by Japanese take-out!

Enjoy the flavors of your favorite restaurant at home!

Enjoy the flavors of your favorite restaurant at home!

"When I don't know what I want to eat, going grocery shopping is a hassle, but it's fun to go to a restaurant and choose from the menu." (Woman/Chinese)

"The menu for take-out was different, and it was a great selection. It's best to take-out sushi and enjoy it at home. I was surprised to find such good food for take-out. Enjoy Japanese take-out! It's amazing to be able to enjoy delicious sushi at home." (Woman/Canadian)

"It's nice to eat while enjoying the atmosphere of the restaurant, but it's also great to be able to relax at home and enjoy the food from your favorite restaurant." (Man/American)

In 2020, the number of restaurants that have implemented take-out service has increased. It has become easier to enjoy at home food that was not ordinarily available. Also, you can relax at home and enjoy your favorite food. It's nice to be able to take your time and order online.

I was surprised by how quickly the food was prepared!

I was surprised by how quickly the food was prepared!

"Every restaurant prepares the food very quickly. I think it's rare to find slow places." (Woman/Chinese)

"They prepared the food so quickly that I could take it home with almost no waiting. I paid online with my credit card, so I did not have to worry about exchanging money at the store. It also helps a lot to be able to specify an exact time to pick up the food. The dishes were prepared perfectly on time. I love Japan!" (Woman/Canadian)

One of the most important things for people who use take-out, is that the time from the order to the pick-up is short. For this reason, restaurants that offer take-out are devising operations to reduce the wait.

For example, they provide dishes that can be prepared in advance, or quickly. Thanks to these efforts, foreigners were shocked by being able to take out the food with almost no waiting.

By communicating the pick-up time at the time of the order, you can receive freshly prepared food with almost no waiting. We also recommend using a service that allows you to pre-order and pre-pay online, allowing you to easily select your food, without having to contact the store directly. If you want to use take-out, give it a try!

Take-out becomes more enjoyable!

Take-out becomes more enjoyable!

In this article, we looked at what surprised and shocked foreigners about Japanese take-out. Due to the presence of COVID-19, it may be difficult to enjoy meals in restaurants for a while. However, with the increase of take-out options, we can now enjoy eating out in a different manner. Take-out is expected to develop and improve further in the future. I wonder what services will be implemented!

Written by Yuu Sato, Dali Corporation

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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