Controversy over a new service called "shokuoku"
A new service called "Shokuoku," or food auction, is currently being debated in Japan. Nine difficult-to-reserve restaurants (Sushi Saito, Sushi Shunji, Chiune, Aca, Seizan, Saika, Takiya, Gourmandise, and Kyotenjin Noguchi) are planning to participate in this service, which will allow members to buy seats for a specific date through an auction system.
With more than 1,000 members already registered, it is expected that seats will sell at a very high price.
The key point is that the seats available by auction will be decided by the restaurants, not by customers. Restaurant owners are saying that the program's goal is "to help improve conditions in the restaurant industry," but if they want to increase sales, why not simply raise prices? Am I the only one who thinks so?!
I think it's not appropriate to raise prices, effectively without any limit, by taking advantage of the "difficulty of making reservations" with a small number of customers. Looking at the line-up of restaurant faces participating in this service, many people enjoy a personal relationship with the Sushi Saito group, which makes me feel this is just a "money-grab."
In Japan, there have been a lot of negative reactions, and I have heard quite a few people say, "I will never go to such a restaurant again." This kind of auction service was expected to appear sooner or later, but do you really want to use it?
Well, there may be people who want to visit Sushi Saito once, even if they have to pay 500,000 yen, so it could be a good service for those people.
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