B4 Mai Kikuchi
Hello. I am Mai Kikuchi, a member of Fujii’s seminar. My study in Germany was unfortunately interrupted because of COVID-19, and I came back to Japan in March. I was so disappointed that I had to say goodbye suddenly to my friends and Germany, but now I switch my mind. These days I am joining an online class and hunting a job while staying home. In this situation, you may have fewer opportunities to eat out. Here, I would like to introduce an activity related to takeout services in Utsunomiya.
The name of the action is Miyameshi-ouentai, which is a cheering group of Utsunomiya foods. They introduce takeout services by using SNS. A feature is a system whoever can become a supporter. When you use a takeout service as a customer, you can share the information by taking pictures and uploading your Instagram with the hashtag “#みやメシ応援隊”. Then the official Instagram will repost it so the information will spread more. Of course, you can support it just by using takeout services.
This activity started with three students at Utsunomiya University. They were worrying that familiar food places would go under because of the virus situation; however, they also understood the importance of staying home. To solve these problems, it was an excellent way to introduce takeout information. Their slogan is, “Do not turn off the lights in the restaurants.”
(Picture1: The official Instagram of Muyameshi-ouentai)
In Japan, the government declared a month-long state of emergency from April to May. This declaration asks people to refrain from going out and requests restaurant owners to shorten their business hours. That is why a lot of restaurants have suffered severe economic damage. According to the Japan Foodservice Association, sales in April 2020 were 40% lower than last month. On the one hand, fast food shops that had had takeout services before this happened kept sales high. On the other hand, privately owned shops, especially bars and pubs, could sell only 5-8% compared to usual.
As you know, these shops launched new takeout services to survive; however, it is challenging to do the service known to many without preparations. When I searched the information on takeout services, it was a little annoying to find it because each shop advertises via each tool. For example, one shop advertises via Twitter, and another shop does it on their home page. From this point of view, I think Miyameshi-ouentai is giving us appropriately useful services.
(Picture2: Sri Lanka curry that I took out last week)
Nowadays, I use takeout services once a week by using their information. I am enjoying the ethnic cuisines that I cannot cook by myself. When you are tired of cooking for yourself, please remember a choice of takeout. The choice would make you happy and make restaurants happy. Thank you.