A ramen restaurant owner has recently banned Japanese customers from entering his establishment citing their growing rude behavior as the reason.
Akio Arima, who runs the Yaeyama Style ramen restaurant on the island of Ishigakijima in Okinawa Prefecture, made the announcement on July 1 via a notice posted on the shop’s entrance door.
— 草生えるニュース (@kusahaerunews) July 12, 2019
The notice reads, as translated by SoraNews24:
“To Japanese customers,
Japanese tourists’ manners have been becoming progressively worse year by year, and so we will not be allowing Japanese customers to dine at our restaurant until after September.
We will only be accepting overseas customers, and we apologize to local Japanese and customers who have eaten here every year, and also ask for their cooperation.
We are currently thinking to resume regular service from October.”
According to the report, the 42-year-old owner explicitly posted several rules on the front door of the restaurant for customers to consider before dining. One of these rules asks customers to order a bowl of ramen for each person in their group since the establishment has less than a dozen of seats.
Despite the signs, customers have continued to take up seats in the restaurant and share bowls of ramen. Even worse, some of them have been caught bringing outside food and drinks into the restaurant, which is not allowed.
Another grievance that the owner has sited was with customers who enter his shop with their babies or toddlers.
「日本人客お断り」 沖縄県石垣島のラーメン店 客の悪態が年々悪化 バイトが接客を苦に退職し店主一人で切り盛り https://t.co/MdNBMUzdSt
— よーちん (@night_yo) July 12, 2019
Since these customers are breaking the house rules, staff members of the restaurant would have to inform them, but it can sometimes go wrong as customers respond in outrage and anger. This stress has resulted in many of their part-time workers resigning.
Arima’s experience with foreign tourists, however, are in total contrast of what he has encountered with Japanese tourists.
“Japanese people think ‘The customer is God,’” said Arima. “Many people are aggravated by the poor manners of [Japanese] tourists, so I think my actions are justified.”
This recent announcement has certainly made an impact in his revenue as Arima admitted that he’s had less customers lately.
“I don’t have any customers. Yesterday, only two came. And as I expected, a lot of people have complained to me about the new rule. It’s tough from an economic standpoint, but I’m going to stick with it for now, and take some time to relax and clean the restaurant,” he said.
Even though he has had problems with rude Japanese customers in the past, it doesn’t mean that every Japanese person he has ever served was rude or caused trouble. With this, he is reevaluating his decision and is thinking of offering a membership plan for his regular Japanese customers whom he feels he can trust to follow proper etiquette.
As for the details of this membership, however, customers will have to wait until October.