We try out the single-person dining capsules and never want to leave.

A couple of months ago, we heard that family restaurant chain Gusto had started remodelling their locations to cater to their large number of solo diners.

The single-person semi-private dining boxes they’d created looked perfect for customers wanting a quiet place to study, fuel up on food, or charge their devices, so we couldn’t wait to try the booths out for ourselves.

We decided to pack up our laptop and head out to their Shinbashi location for a few hours of writing away from the office, and when we arrived, we saw that their solo booths were being advertised on a poster outside the store.

▼ Private booths AND a weekday lunch from 499 yen (US$4.61)? This has to be one of the best deals in Tokyo.

When we stepped inside, we realised that Gusto weren’t messing around with their new initiative to cater to solo diners. We thought there might be a handful of booths available, but instead there were 12 private capsules lined up in two rows.

The individual seating along the wall had also been remodelled, with dividing panels offering more privacy for those dining alone.

We slid into a private booth at the end of one row, and were surprised to find that although it looked compact from the outside, once you were sitting in it, it didn’t feel cramped at all.

The booth was well-designed, with a small shelf to keep cutlery, condiments, drinks, and the menu and staff call button neatly out of your way.

▼ Each booth comes with its own power outlet…

▼ A side hook for coats to hang on…

▼ And a shelf underneath to store bags and bulky items.

It was so perfect for studying and computer work that we immediately wanted to make one of these for ourselves at home, but then we remembered the one thing we wouldn’t be able to replicate at home: meals delivered to our table.

The table was big enough to accomodate our laptop and a couple of dishes at the same time, so we started off with a plate of fries for 299 yen and a beef stew sauce omelette rice for 699 yen.

Gusto has a lot more menu options than those you’d find at a cafe, and with their prices being so reasonable, we could afford to splurge on another dish, this time a Prawn and Japanese Yam Okra Slippery Salad Udon for 699 yen.

We’ve worked remotely from a lot of shared work spaces and cafes before, but never have we felt this satisfied, working from the Gusto booth. The seat was comfortable, the table was big enough for us to use a laptop and eat at the same time, and reasonably priced meals were just a call button away.

Currently, the solo seats can be found at Gusto’s Tokyo branches in Akasaka Mitsuke, Azabujuban, Hatagaya, Higashi Ikebukuro, Kameari Station North Exit, Kichijoji, Medai-mae, Mito Keio Daigaku-mae, and Shinbashi.

Gusto is leading the way with the solo-dining-at-family-restaurants experience, and we hope other restaurant chains follow suit! Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to work or refuel your belly and appliances, Gusto is definitely the place to go.

Restaurant Information
Gusto Shinbashi / ガスト 新橋店
Address: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Shinbashi 3-5-2
Hours: 6:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri) 6:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m. (weekends and public holidays)

Related: Gusto location list
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