Matters You should Know about Payment at Restaurants
There are various types of restaurants in Japan, from casual dining ones to high-end ones. The payment method may be different, depending on the type. Here, we will explain such payment methods and the reason why each method is adopted.
The payment methods at a restaurant is roughly divided into "payment at cash register" and "payment at table". In many cases of lunch at a casual dining restaurant etc., you bring a bill called “denpyo” (usually placed on your table) to a cash register around a doorway by yourself to make payment. At busy time such as lunch time, as there is often a line in front of the register, you should go to the register when it is not so crowded. You may feel somewhat troublesome with this method. However, as you can avoid a situation that you cannot check out until restaurant staff notice you, it is suitable for cases in which you do not have much time, such as business lunch. "Payment at table" is adopted by many restaurants with a somewhat luxurious atmosphere. After finishing meals, staff will come to the table and check out there.
It is also a feature of Japan that there are many types of eating and drinking establishments that are relatively reasonable and often used by customers without any companions, such as ramen shops, soba or udon shops, beef bowl shops. Such shops may have often introduced a "ticket vending machine." We purchase tickets first to finish the payment in advance. There is a vending machine with buttons of "ramen", "beef bowl" and so on at the entrance of the shop. In reference to the buttons as a menu, you purchase a ticket called “Shokken” like buying a train ticket. By placing this ticket on a counter, meals ordered will be immediately served. It is a device to operate the shop with few staff and provide meals at a low price. In addition, at stores where staff always stands behind a counter, you may make an order and payment in advance. Considering this as the same style as a cafe, you will not make a mistake.
In addition, when checking out at a restaurant that offers alcohol, you may notice that a dish about several hundred yen that you do not remember ordering is included. This dish is called "Otooshi", which is Japanese unique culture at a place where sake is offered. It is a small dish to go with sake, which is provided automatically until ordered dishes are brought to you. While you may feel it to be very attentive, as a matter of fact, this is subject to a fee. Therefore, when it is brought to you, it is possible to reject it at some restaurants. However, such a small dish is generally delicious, with taste of which each restaurant is proud. Why don’t you enjoy it as an appetizer until the ordered dishes come?