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Loyal customers try to keep their local eateries afloat during pandemic

31 Comments
By Junko Horiuchi

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31 Comments
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Love that sign in English.

Support small businesses!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Yeah @oldman_13, that sign is classic: TAKE OUT ... できます。Ha ha.

This article made me happy. Seems to my like Japan's response is more flexible than other places and is allowing for individuals to come up with creative responses to take responsibility for supporting each other.

I like that a lot better than the top-down, heavy approaches of some countries.

Of course, each country is different (a take on the old ALT acronynm, ESID!) and so it's hard to know which approach is right.

And while there are legit reasons to doubt the official stats here in Japan, it does seem like the situation here isn't nearly as bad as a lot of places such as my crazy home country, the good ole USofA..

Anyway, nice to read an article on this situation that gave me hope.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

I have 3 very nice small family Izakayas which I visit regular. They struggle a lot during these days, but I still go regular there for "Take out food". Call in advance and pick up within 1 hour. Stop by the Liquor shop around the corner and buy some 日本酒

I hope their business will go back to normal soon!

These kind of places are the heart of Japan!

18 ( +23 / -5 )

My apartment is so small I cannot cook. I am so grateful that so many local places are serving nice take away bentos in my neighborhood.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

I love take out service it rocks! No cooking for me even better.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

supporting local business is global, not just in Japan, whether in Shibuya or in Bay Area, I try to support local businesses much as possible.

kind of surprise by the all the negative clicks, must be some Nikki 100 folks in the comments area today.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

There's a little Japanese runpub called the bermondsey in Nagoya doing wonderful takeouts. Fish and chips real English style. Delish

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yes- all for this. if we don't support our local favourites they will be gone forever.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Absolutely the good thing to do, as we are in Australia, or they might not be there when this epidemic is finished and the unemployment rate will be even higher!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I agree these small places are the heart of Japan. The two places I frequent are run by father and son (the business to be passed to the next generation).

@Rie - I am not sure how someone could down vote what you write. Happy to hear you can get good food at this time.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

@Filmore

I agree with you 100% about the negative clicks.

The negative clicks probably come from people who are not living in Japan or live here but never try to integrate in japanese culture.

And if people read that we are going out to pick up "Take out food" at the Izakaya, they think it is not nice because of the virus spreading.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

they should sell some gift certificates or something that can be used later, I agree with that idea.

Even more so if they could throw a 10% discount on it or something. I wouldnt mind to pay my expected izakaya and bar tab for the next year or so if it helped these businesses stay afloat.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes Indeed by all means and every chance you get when safe, support your LOCAL businesses since this government had failed to deliver on it's promises miserably.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Life is going pretty much as normal here in the countryside. Only one Izakaya near me is closed.

carparking for parks and beaches are closed, but the GW crowd all shop at combini’s or supermarkets, so local food shops will still get the overflow. I think campgrounds are closed.

japan’s system of avoiding a full lockdown has saved a vast majority of small businesses in my region.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Others are setting up and supporting crowdfunding initiatives as well as new IT services that allow them to book and pay now for meals that won't be served until normality returns. autoreserve allowed a user to select from among 28 registered restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and elsewhere to buy meal coupons with a reduction of up to 30 percent as well as make reservations using a credit card."

This is a great idea...would love to use it once it spreads beyond the 3 big smoke cities and into my area.

I hope their business will go back to normal soon!

These kind of places are the heart of Japan!"

Absolutely mate, couldnt agree more.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

We run a popular Japanese restaurant outside NYC. We have been trying take out only, not what we normally do, for a month now. It is not working sadly. We lose too much weekly and will be forced to close next week. Support these places that are open. Don’t take the for granted.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

We normally eat out once a week and support the local places, and continue to do that. Plus, I still go to a few local cafes to get some work done and support them. They have a good supply of regular customers supporting them, but numbers have fallen off a bit regardless.

Rie_Tibaku Today  08:24 am JST

My apartment is so small I cannot cook. I am so grateful that so many local places are serving nice take away bentos in my neighborhood.

That screen name of yours wouldn't be from a cartoon in The Alien from a long time ago, would it? Laughed when I saw it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes we do as well.Eat well,stay strong as horse and if possible-support local business.Now very hard tme for most of them.Chain restaurants will bailed by gov etc...but these family owned businesses may not survive these wild days...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Here in Tokyo, we can order a various kinds of foods from small restaurants via internet delivering service.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We have always supported the local business, restaurants, groceries, bakery, cafe, even if we need to pay a little more. The owners are part of the community.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

oh zichi? Surely thats only the grocer shop? I was under the impression you rarely left the house and basically were self sufficient, growing your own veg, baking your own bread ands scorning the rest of us for not having the time to prapare food from complete scratch or eat out. You had a pop at me once for not making my own baked beans!

Anyway congrats for supporting your grocer.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sadly loyal customers will not be enough for many.

Government need to support all small businesses.

And take care of their people .

So far nothing. Nada

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes - Frankly its shocking that there is no meaningful support being given to the Independent F&B industry. No forced rent holidays etc - The amounts being offerered to comply voluntarily with requests from the Governmet are derisory. I've doing as much as I can tio help . I have ot come to the office so I am going to the smaller places that I frequent if they are still open. Locally too, but it won't be enough by the time we get to the end of May.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I have been supporting my favorite mom and pop place twice a week. They open at five and stays open until about 11. The guy has gout so I worry about him being dehydrated so bought him some Cherry tar things to drop his uric acid.

Convinced him to expand the menu again and he has. His pizza is fantastic, and he pours draft beer without a head on special for me. Got to love the Japanese.

Fortunately he owns his building with no mortgage and lives upstairs with his family. Tight but doable.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

theResident

oh zichi? Surely thats only the grocer shop? I was under the impression you rarely left the house and basically were self sufficient, growing your own veg, baking your own bread ands scorning the rest of us for not having the time to prapare food from complete scratch or eat out. You had a pop at me once for not making my own baked beans!

Anyway congrats for supporting your grocer.

For your reference, I have only been house bound on the advice of my doctor, since February while I recover from my cancer operation. During this time my wife is making the shopping but we both believe in supporting the local trade, even the Farmers Market because otherwise they shut and disappear and that is always a loss to any commnuity.

I don't grow vegetables and never said I did. I do make my own bread since moving to a new location because we can't find the bread we like. Problem with yeast supply at the moment and searching online to find the right one.

I did grow our own organic vegetables when we lived in the Japan Alps and had fields but a hernia on my lower back prevents any heavy garden work, or even any heavy lifting work.

I have never scorned anyone for not preparing their own foods. That would be an individual choice. I like cooking, I'm very good at it and consider food an important part of health and preventive medicine. But we also enjoy visiting restaurants.

I don't remember about baked beans but probably you said you couldn't find them and I suggested you can make them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

our local eatery had to shut down weeks ago but would still serve people by delivering their orders instead. Honestly, it's these mom & pop stores that make this pandemic a lot less depressing and stressful. There's nothing like home made food

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good idea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This works both ways. We are supporting the eateries and bars where we can, but have noted the ones that have declined to close and they are now off our list of places to go.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course you support your Local businesses, you grew up with them, you went to School with them, you know them ! That's what being part of a Community is about. Tokyo is a big City, yes. But has many close knit Communities within it - Just like other Cities around the World.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

they should sell some gift certificates or something that can be used later, I agree with that idea

The problem is that when a business goes bust those gift certificates are of no value to the customer.

The real problem is the lack of rent and tax relief and a moratorium on mortgage payments for the duration of the government lockdown. Even without that, many owners face bankruptcy which puts all their staff out of work. The segue to take-out generally isn't enough to keep limping along without real financial relief. But landlords, banks and governments generally aren't volunteering to be an effective part of the solution. A mandate is necessary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think most people want local businesses to survive (and even bigger businesses). There was an American company that recently donated (tax?) money to smaller restaurants, due to the US government not doing enough.

It's great that people are also supporting local businesses with crowdfunding, and it might be that SOME restaurants are staying open to serve essential workers too.

However, places staying open, during a global pandemic, where the global consensus has been to test more, report more, treat more and socially distance more is what people like myself are concerned with. Supporting local businesses is one thing (and a good thing too), but izakayas run, and full of, selfish, ignorant people, helping to spread a deadly virus, is a another thing entirely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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