A chance at love means a higher probability of good customer behavior, she says.

Working in the food service industry is a tough job, and it doesn’t get any easier when you have to deal with rude customers. Unfortunately, if you’re a server there’s no way to know for sure whether the diners walking in your door that night are going to be jerks.

Or is there? According to Japanese Twitter user Teijidash-chan (@teiji_oriental), there is at least a way to put the odds in your favor in terms of having customers who are as polite and respectful to you as you are to them. It’s not just a matter of working at a high-class restaurant, either, though a certain amount of ambiance is part of the plan. So what’s the secret?

Get a job at a restaurant that’s popular for gokon, or Japanese matchmaking parties.

Those aren’t always the same restaurants that are popular for dates, though there’s often some overlap. For gokon, an even number of unattached singles get together for dinner and drinks, usually with somewhere between 6 to 10 people total, so a good gokon restaurant doesn’t just need a fashionable atmosphere, but also small banquet rooms so the group can relax and talk comfortably. A good selection of set-course meals, which let the participants focus on getting to know each other instead of reading through the menu, are also a plus, as is a downtown location, in case people are coming from work and also in the event that any pairs hit it off and want to continue their date on their own afterwards.

But why does working at a gokon-friendly restaurant often mean nicer customers? Because, as Teijidash-chan explains:

“In college, my friend who worked at a bunch of different restaurants that were popular for gokon told me ‘It’s an easy job. The customers are all so polite to the wait staff because they want to make a good impression on the gokon members of the opposite sex.”

A key element of gokon is that, generally, almost everyone is meeting each other for the first time. The most common way one comes together is a guy and a girl who are platonic acquaintances will realize that they each have a number of friends who are single too, and then invite those friends to the party to see if anyone is compatible. It’s sort of like a blind date, except that no pairings are decided on ahead of time. That encourages everyone to make the best first impression that they can, and no one wants “Oh, this person is being a jerk to the server” to be the first thing that makes them stick out from the rest of the potential partners.

Teijidash-chan’s friend’s experiences made sense to many Twitter commenters, who reacted with:

“Smart thinking!”
“People know they’ll be more attractive if they’re polite to the staff.”
“Everyone’s on their best behavior.”
“I could see myself working in that environment for a long time.”

It’s worth noting that not everyone who goes to a gokon ends up as part of a couple. There’s no reality dating program-style formal declaration of who you liked best at the end of the party, and it’s not unusual for a participant to realize, halfway through, that they’re not going to be making a romantic connection. Even then, though, there’s an understanding that spoiling the mood for everyone else would be bad form, so even once they’ve checked out of the search for a boyfriend or girlfriend, they can usually be expected to still be civil and polite, in which case the waitstaff will still have a table of problem-free customers.

Source: Twitter/@teiji_oriental via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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