Survey asks Japanese people how they feel about going somewhere cheap and cheerful for a first date.

You gotta love Japanese family restaurants — usually referring to casual, inexpensive nationwide chains like Gusto, Denny’s or Royal Host, family restaurants are perfect to grab a bite to eat if you have a young family, or if you and your friends are looking for a spot to get a cheap and cheerful meal. Add to that the varied menu options and the fact that most chains have a drink bar with unlimited refills, and it’s hard to find any faults with family restaurants.

But while hitting up a family restaurant with friends or family is cool and all, how about in romantic situations…say, for example, when you’re going on a first date with someone?

Japanese Twitter already declared that Italian family restaurant Saizeriya was the perfect date spot a while back, but not everyone is as open-minded about being so conservative with your cash on the first date, so dating agency Partner Agent decided to pose the question once more via a survey. They asked 2,400 single men and women between the ages of 20 and 39:

“Is it OK to go to a family restaurant on the first date?”
● Sure — 28 percent
● Kind of — 22.5 percent
● Can’t say either way — 23.2 percent
● Probably not — 10.7 percent
● No way — 15.6 percent

In general, it seems that more Japanese people are open to the idea of having a first date at a family restaurant than not, but when the survey results get split by gender, the results get even more interesting.

“Is it OK to go to a family restaurant on the first date?” (male responses)
● Sure — 25 percent
● Kind of — 21.4 percent
● Can’t say either way — 26.7 percent
● Probably not — 9.8 percent
● No way — 17.2 percent

On the whole, just 46.9 percent of males who responded said they’d be ok with going to a family restaurant on a first date. Compare that with the data collected from the female participants.

“Is it OK to go to a family restaurant on the first date?” (female responses)
● Sure — 30.9 percent
● Kind of — 23.7 percent
● Can’t say either way — 19.7 percent
● Probably not — 11.7 percent
● No way — 14.1 percent

More than 54.6 percent of women who responded said that family restaurants were acceptable places for first dates, suggesting women are more open to the idea than men are.

▼ Keep your fancy bars — we all know the perfect first date involves a glass or two of Melon Dr. Pepper.

It’s not that hard to understand why so many people said they’d be down for a first date in a family restaurant, though. They might not be the most romantic or elegant places to spend time with a romantic interest, but they’re casual, comfortable and cosy. Any first date nerves or tension you might be feeling can disappear in such a laid-back environment, making family restaurants a great place for both parties to feel relaxed and at ease.

However, when asked “If you were asking someone out, what kind of restaurant would you pick for a first date?“, both male and female participants’ top answers were ‘somewhere stylish’, followed by ‘my favourite restaurant’, and finally ‘somewhere that’s popular online or in magazines’. Just 17.3 percent of men and  13.5 percent of women answered with ‘a family restaurant’.

Of course, that not to say that family restaurants can’t be your favourite restaurant, or popular online (or heck, even gourmet!), but it seems that while people are ok with being asked on a date to a family restaurant, they’re less comfortable with doing the actual asking.  So where should you go for a first date if you’re the one organising it?

Perhaps, in the end, the key to a successful first date isn’t always the amount of cash you’re willing to splash — the best first dates are the ones where both parties can relax, have fun and really get to know each other. Whether that means somewhere elegant and expensive or somewhere cheap and cheerful is up to you to determine.

But if you’re living in Tokyo, here’re a few suggestions for some fancy first date spots.

Source: PR Times
Top image: Pakutaso

Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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