It’s not so lonely at the top of this ranking.

Although a lot of major brands last for a long time, people’s opinions about them can fluctuate quite a bit. In the past decade alone, we’ve seen McDonald’s Japan go from a fast-food juggernaut to a veritable pariah and back to the McCock of the walk.

One way to help keep tabs on these changes is the Japanese Customer Satisfaction Index which is an annual survey that measures general impressions on how satisfying and useful a business is in a wide range of industries from credit card companies to hardware stores.

The first round of results, however, focuses mainly on the food service sectors “eateries” and “cafes.” This year, 12 restaurant chains known as “family restaurants” in Japan, nine fast food chains, and five coffee shops were rated and ranked by nearly 25,000 respondents, making this the largest survey of its kind in Japan.

The survey asked three questions which respondents were to assign a score out of 100:

1 – How satisfied with [business name] were you in the past year?
2 – Looking back on your use of [business name] this past year, how much to you think it was a good choice for you?
3 – How much has use of [business name] enriched your life.

These scores were then compiled, weighted, and processed through all that other statistician magic to come up with the three most satisfying eateries in Japan for 2021. Let’s run it down!

3 – Mos Burger

A solid entry for third place, Mos Burger has been a long-appreciated franchise in Japan often found at or near the top of most rankings. Though they do catch a little flack for relatively high prices and small portions, quality-wise they are consistently a cut above the rest.

2 – Oh, wait a minute…

It would seem there is no second place. Instead we have a tie for first! I suppose that would technically make Mos Burger second, but we’re just following the number system used by JCSI, so get off our backs already.

1 – Saizeriya and Gyoza No Ohsho

Both receiving the same rating on the Customer Satisfaction Index, the Italian-themed family restaurant Saizeriya and Chinese-themed gyoza shack Gyoza No Ohsho are sharing the spotlight this year.

Saizeriya really does an amazing job at treading along the razor’s edge of low cost and high quality. “High quality” is used loosely considering most dishes are just reheated, but they all somehow end up tasting way better than they should, and at prices that seem to defy the economy.

▼ We even sent a hungry four-man team to try their best to run up a 100,000-yen (US$906) bill, but they didn’t even come remotely close

On the other hand, Gyoza No Ohsho has striven to become the largest gyoza chain in Japan, which is no small feat. Here gyoza can be very divisive, with a wide range of subtly different recipes found in most restaurants, convenience stores, and supermarkets. Uniting enough people under one umbrella made of tasty rice paper and stuffed with garlic is a testament to how satisfying this place can be.

To see where your favorite restaurant did or didn’t rank, here is the top ten:

1 – Saizeriya / Gyoza No Ohsho (Tie)
3 – Mos Burger
4 – Bikuri Donkey
5 – KFC / Marugame Seimen (Tie)
7 – Sushiro
8 – Ringer Hut
9 – Hamazushi
10 – Kisoji

According to the researchers behind the survey, there were some rather large swings in the results this year caused by the pandemic’s disruption. For example, Gyoza No Ohsho shot up a remarkable eight places from the previous year, possibly due in part to their very take-out-friendly central dish of gyoza.

On the other hand, it’s surprising that McDonald’s didn’t even crack the top 10 this time. Regardless of opinions on the food itself, their app that allows you to order and pay before even entering the store has been a lifesaver in these especially germophobic times.

Meanwhile, Starbucks fans needn’t fret too much, because cafes were put in a separate ranking, with the top three as follows:

1 – Komeda’s Coffee
2 – Starbucks
3 – Dotour Coffee

Once again, despite being the largest chain of its kind internationally, Starbucks was upset by Komeda’s Coffee. This is another chain that has thrived especially during the pandemic, something that has been attributed to their relatively wide floorspace compared to other coffee shops.

▼ Not only that but Komeda’s Coffee has a pretty killer line-up of food to go along with all that caffeine.

Even despite these results, in Japan you’d generally be hard pressed to find an eatery you could describe as “unsatisfying” so don’t worry to much about where to eat. However, if for whatever reason you still find that you can’t get no satisfaction, perhaps you should try one of these spots for a change of pace.

Source: Japanese Customer Satisfaction Index, All About
Photos ©SoraNews24
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