Searching for somewhere to eat in Japan


Do you use restaurant search sites (gourmet sites)? graph of japanese statisticsHere’s an interesting little survey from Marsh Inc and reported on by into gourmet site usage.


Between the 9th and 12th of July 2009 300 members of the Marsh monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was split exactly 50:50 male and female, 1.7% of the sample were in their teens, 18.3% in their twenties, 20.0% in their thirties, 20.0% in their forties, 20.0% in their fifties, and 20.0% aged sixty or older.

I use the word “gourmet” above as the Japanese also use that loan word to describe eating out, although perhaps it does sound a bit too fancy in English.

I personally only rarely used Guru-navi (an abbreviation of an approximation of “gourmet navigation”), and only when I have a specific restaurant in mind and want to check for discount coupons! They have a small English sub-site, if you want to check that out – note none of the others linked below have an English version.

Research results

Q1: Do you use restaurant search sites (gourmet sites)? (Sample size=300)

Often use (to SQs) 14.7%
Use to some degree (to SQs) 17.7%
Occasionally use (to SQs) 34.3%
Have used (to SQs) 16.0%
Never used (to SQs) 17.3%

Q1SQ1: Which gourmet site do you use the most? (Sample size=248)

Guru-navi 62.1%
Yahoo! Gourmet 12.5% 17.7%
Tabelog 2.4%
Gourmet Walker 1.2%
Gourmet Pia 0.8%
livedoor gourmet 0.0%
Other 0.4%
None in particular, don’t remember 2.8%

Q1SQ2: What kinds of information do you refer to in gourmet site search results? (Sample size=248, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Menu 200 80.6%
Map, access information 190 76.6%
Business hours 136 54.8%
Photographs 135 54.4%
Approximate budget 135 54.4%
Coupons 134 54.0%
Word of mouth evaluation 94 37.9%
Scheduled days off 89 35.9%
If it has private rooms 64 25.8%
Telephone number 60 24.2%
If it has parking 57 23.0%
Web site URL 50 20.2%
If it is smoking or non-smoking 38 15.3%
Number of seats 30 12.1%
Payment methods accepted 29 11.7%
Email address 8 3.2%
FAX number 5 2.0%
Other 3 1.2%
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1 Comment »

  1. Wintersweet said,
    July 22, 2009 @ 01:24

    Man, I wish would allow users to add listings outside the US, Canada and UK! There are plenty of bored English-speakers in Japan who could write up restaurant reviews. I’ve run across several small English-language Japanese restaurant review sites but none of them have ever achieved critical mass. Yelp already has the userbase and the infrastructure… (Yeah, I’m working on reading Japanese-language reviews, but still.)

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