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In Japan, Anyone Can Have A Finger On The Button...

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on August 18, 2019 14:29

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"Pushing the button" in Japan doesn't bring about nuclear armageddon, rather a smiling server who appears like a genii from the Arabian Nights but Japanese.

The button to call a waiter or waitress for table service, that is...

One memorable experience during a recent visit to Nagasaki was pushing a call button for waitress service in a fish restaurant instead of having to flag down a server.

Apparently, such buttons are the norm in many Japanese dining establishments.

Although some American chains like Hard Rock Cafe do have similar buttons, I can't remember ever using such a device stateside. They certainly aren't commonplace.

It was a revelation to discover that dining with a button is much more pleasant.

No server needed to be searched for, waved to, attracted to the table, or allowed to interrupt eating only to ask: "Are you still working on that?"

That type of question makes eating out sound like a rush job under intense supervision. Kills the joy of cooking and eating, at least for me.

Likewise, waiting for a bill. In Japan, you just press the button and you get your check instantly.

And if you need something like a glass of water, tea, a drink, an appetizer, an order, or to remove a dirty plate... you only have to push the button again - presto! Your server appears to efficiently fulfill any needs.

Using a button, bills are paid at the cash register where they've already added up your total before you arrive based upon the number of your table, sometimes printed on a plastic card.

What you see on the bill is precisely what you get. No tipping allowed! Ever.

It is an incredibly pleasant and relaxing system. No worries.

A former IHOP waitress I know marveled at how simple, easy, and carefree dining out became without having to fret about finding - or sometimes avoiding - your server.  

Why this system hasn't already caught on in the USA I don't understand... We've already imported anime, manga, cars, electronics, and televisions from Japan - why not call buttons in restaurants?

Of course, some people enjoy chatting with a server, so obviously this isn't for them.

But if you're one of those who doesn't like forced interactions or long recitations of phony scripts, you'll be delighted to know that a Japanese waitperson doesn't ever tell diners, "Good choice," or "That's one of my particular favorites."

They don't even talk about their love lives, hobbies, careers, or the weather.

In fact, they don't talk very much at all. The only thing I remember our waitress saying was "Thank you very much!" in Japanese.

Honestly, that was all that she needed to say.

So, if you want to experience what life would be like in Paradise for some of us, go to Japan for superb service, Japanese-style.

Where "Pushing the button" doesn't bring about nuclear armageddon, rather a smiling server who appears like a genii of Arabian Nights but Japanese.

So, thank you to Japan for allowing us to experience the marvelous table button. Or, as the Japanese say: “Arigatou Gozaimashita” (ありがとうございました)!




Laurence Jarvik

Posted on August 18, 2019 14:29


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Source: BBC Sport

Rie Kaneto wins Japan's seventh gold medal at Rio 2016, while GB's Chloe Tutton is fourth in the women's 200m breaststroke.


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