Saizeriya president calls requests not to eat out for lunch ‘nonsense’


The Japanese government declared a second state of emergency following a surge in coronavirus cases in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures on Jan 7. Following prefectural governors' request, the central government extended this emergency declaration to 11 prefectures on Wednesday.

Eating establishments have been asked to close by 8 p.m. and restrict serving alcoholic beverages by 7 p.m. Although the restaurant chain Saizeriya Co has complied with the shortened operating hours, the company’s president, Issei Horino, has ridiculed an additional request from some government officials asking people not to eat out for lunch as well, Fuji TV reported.

Regarding the infection risk of eat out for lunch, Horino adamantly said: “Today, the [officials] were going back and forth about lunch again. They are talking nonsense.”

In some prefectures, major restaurant chains will not be eligible to receive a subsidy of 60,000 yen per day. Since the state of emergency deprives businesses of their peak operating hours, Horino said it was essential to remain open for lunch. "A lot of people work for major restaurant operators. Eating establishments are being pushed deeper into despair, and it's no laughing matter."

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I take my kids to Jolly Pasta, a major competitor of Saizeriya, for lunch sometimes. It seems they are very careful about social distancing, masks and sanitizer when you enter so I think lunch is rather safe. It is a shame to put so many people out of work unless there is evidence that a quiet and socially distant lunch will spread the coronavirus.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

Ever eat at Saizeriya? Once is about enough.

4 ( +23 / -19 )


What a coincidence!

I went to Jolly Pasta too just a few days ago.

Best prevention against Covid in that restaurant.

Many tables have to stay free, fever was measured, hand sanitizer, going to drink bar mask was mandatory, all used tables have big separaters and all staff wear masks.

I didnt see any risk to catch Covid in that restaurant.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

When restaurants closed here in WA for a while they looked to take away orders or home delivery only to keep afloat, then when things improved they restricted the number of customers inside (not reduced operating hours). Could this be achieved in Japan?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

otherworldlyToday  03:29 pm JST

Ever eat at Saizeriya? Once is about enough.

I've had Saizeriya in both HK and Japan. The taste frankly isn't the best, but it is cheap and in terms of "cost-performance" it is OK as far as I'm concerned.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Just grab your food to go. How hard is that? Uber Eats is your friend.

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

I've stopped eating in restaurants completely now. Back in the fall when things seemed under control we'd sometimes hit a place for lunch, but it just seems irresponsible to do so now. I feel bad for the restaurants and I try to get take out as often as I can to keep giving them some business, but eating in a crowded environment with a load of other people just isn't on right now.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

So you can go to the salad bar to spread virus ?

One wrong cough from one wrong guy and it is called superspreader...

A mask does not block a strong cough at all or a sneeze, you know.

Everywhere in the world it shows that restaurants and bars are the more or less confined place where spreading is worst. But Japanese are so special.

I told my mother in law to keep distance from little restaurant.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Exactly. What’s wrong with going out for lunch and dinner? I do most days.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Clusters are not coming from restaurants that serve lunch. Good for him to speak up. Let's support and protect all small businesses too. Most Japanese restaurants are doing a responsible job of serving the public. I feel very safe in the restaurants I frequent.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Totally agree with Reckless and Monty.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

He would say that, wouldn’t he. People shouldn’t be eating out, even in places like Jolly Pasta that has attempted some social distancing since the first SOE. They should all be takeaway only.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Why don’t these wombats realize the longer they stay closed the quicker the virus will dissipate and they will be back in business sooner? The only way to stop the spread of this virus is to stop people interacting.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

The problem behind is, that they all are in full panic and don’t know what to do or to let. Because they just don’t want to listen to what has been said more than once and admit their incompetence.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

He just made himself a candidate for next PM hope he has no tummy trouble, and can do 100 sit ups, bar is pretty low for leadership. I will have a beer with that pasta, there you go got my PM resides not able to vote here is my tax bill does that cover the pasta beer and virus debt? Oh guess I have to pay more.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The whole thing is nonsense. Shut down restaurants by 8:00pm? Why? Because the virus doesn't spread until after that? If 6 to 8 pm is okay, what's wrong with 12 to 1 for lunch? By shrinking the operating hours, you force more people to go at the same time.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I'm with you Saizeriya. The entire SOE is nonsense. The only thing affected by it are business that operate between 8PM and 5AM. Nothing else. Still crowd into a cramped train. Still in crowded offices and schools. Nothing changed except avoiding the dinner rush by going to get something to eat around 8pm instead of 6 or 7pm.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Face it......When you out and about.....That is how you catch it and spread it.....Keep it simple

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He's right, all restrictions do is confine people to a limited number of venues during a limited time. A virus will permeate its host one way or another, always have done, always will. Lockdowns are ineffective, however the damage to mental and physical health will last for decades, the damage to society will last for generations.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Since the state of emergency deprives businesses of their peak operating hours, Horino said it was essential to remain open for lunch. "A lot of people work for major restaurant operators. Eating establishments are being pushed deeper into despair, and it's no laughing matter."

This focus on the plight of restaurateur corps in the pandemic in Japan as if they are the only ones suffering is perverse.

Remember when Saizeriya was called out for using melamine, a Chinese plastic additive, in the cheese for its pizzas.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Is this the same guy that had a video showing how you can wear a mask and eat/drink at the same time? He folded the mask on his face in two, over his nose. Then he draped a napkin over the folded mask. He ate food under the napkin. The napkin got in his beer. (great example of a boss never being told "hey boss, your idea is dumb")

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Haven't eaten at Saizeria since our kids said at age 7 that it sucked. That was 20 years ago...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Do all these people who say eating at restaurants is dangerous ever ride the Yamanote Line a 8 am?!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In other countries, "eating out" has been illegal for months. Here, since March. Only during Summer, they allowed meals to be served on tables outdoor. It is a huge economical problem, I really feel for those in the industry.

But unless some other restrictions , this one is not disputable. Let's face it, most other services can adapt with measures of decent efficiency. But in eateries the limit is that customers cannot eat with masks on. And shops cannot let them in one by one and clean the space after each (like at the dentist's or the barber's).

In Japan, except for luxury hotels that can serve people in individual lounges, they have not the space to really separate customers.

Many tables have to stay free, fever was measured, hand sanitizer, going to drink bar mask was mandatory, all used tables have big separaters and all staff wear masks.

Fever measure is a comedy. Symptomless patients have been proven to be as contagious as others. The virus is conveyed in the air, so unless there is a massive ventilation sucking the air up from over each table and expellling it, the "separaters" are decorative, the air goes around and circulates inside the room.

I didnt see any risk to catch Covid in that restaurant.

You see nothing. It's invisible. You just share the breathing air of strangers during 1/2 hour. So far the infection rate is still low in your town, so you've been lucky. Not protected, just lucky.

Most Japanese restaurants are doing a responsible job of serving the public.

From what I read in comments, the shops still operate bars and buffets, and whatever joke, and get praised for proposing hand wash gel. All those shops with no hand washing facilities have installed some since covid ? Or you find it responsible to go queue at toilets shared by the whole floor ?

I feel very safe in the restaurants I frequent.

They make you feel safe, but it's delusion.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

People eat out too much in Japan. Lazy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Saizeriya isn't bad, but the table hogging time wasters, i.e. students who buy the cheapest thing on the menu and then hang around for hours have to be a serious cause of virus spread. Do something about these idiots please.

Uber Eats is your friend.

As a responsible cyclists, their delivery staff are anything but.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If you don't want the coronavirus just lock yourself in the house and wait until 2025 or something. The rest of us will get on with life, it's not your right to lock us in too

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

If Japan had just done a hard lockdown ( a proper one, not the Japan style ) just for a month earlier then everything would have become normal by now! The hard lockdown should have closed everything ( including schools, offices, restaurants, bars, malls, movie cinemas but exclude supermarkets and hospitals ) and each citizen given financial handouts of 300,000yen. But this half approach of declaring a state of emergency then keeping life as normal does not benefit anyone. You can’t gave it both ways! The economy is collapsing, people are suffering financially and corona virus keeps spreading! The 60,000yen per day handout to restaurants are kept by the restaurant and workers don’t see any part of it! They are only paid for the working hours and not paid if restaurants are closed. Financial handout to every citizen is important and a necessity if the Government declared a state of emergency and people can’t work! Bottom line is that you either do something properly and don’t do it all all because you’ll make a mess if not done properly!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Lockdowns are ineffective

Why post nonsense like. This. It is patently obvious that lockdowns do work, the numbers of Covid patients drops sharply after a couple of weeks.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I do not support lockdowns. A lockdown is like cutting off your foot because your toe itches.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Ever eat at Saizeriya? Once is about enough.

It is low budget, but it serves a purpose. Kind of like their little side salad with shrimp, then get a pasta you like.

When I tell people at home I can get small shrimp salad, pasta, small glass of cheap wine or maybe a beer for about 1000 yen all in, they can't believe it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is why you need wide scale testing, to put corporations in their place

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Saizeriya isn’t the best but it’s not bad for the price. And since most people are not working from home here anyway, it doesn’t make sense to ask them not to eat at a restaurant for lunch. And I have no experience in the restaurant industry but I’m sure 60,000 yen a day subsidy is not going to make up for for lost revenue due to shortened business hours

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why take risks and eat at the restaurant, if you want to support the business just order as take out.

There have been cases of poor ventilation causing clusters, so why take the risks especially when the new variants have been proven to be more efficient with infecting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lock down the elderly and the sick. The rest can return to normal life.

It doesn't make sense to lock down everyone for say 20% of the population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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