About how often do you go for all-you-can-eat meals? graph of japanese opinionBetween the 1st and 5th of April 2007 MyVoice looked at all-you-can-eat restaurants. This is perhaps a subject dear to many foreigners’ hearts as they can find the portions in Japan a little small. This survey does not, however, cover all-you-can-drink offers.


17,261 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private internet-based survey. 54% were female, 2% in their teens, 18% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, 26% in their forties, and 15% in their fifties.

I’ve got a few favourite all-you-can-eat restaurants in the Kansai area, and we tend to visit about twice a month. Rather than just listing them, let’s try a Google Map of the locations.

Click here to visit my custom Google Maps map.

My number one top spot is Solviva atop of the Hankyu Terminal Building in Umeda. It’s 1,890 yen for a varied selection of Japanese farm cooking, with some organic veggies here and there. There’s about forty dishes to choose from, then another ten or so desserts, organic coffee and tea, and a wonderful view from the counter seats looking north over Osaka. There’s also an alcohol menu with interesting shochu, from boring old wheat or potato base to milk via corn and sesame.

I also discovered this interesting page of reviews of other all-you-can-eat locations in Osaka.

Survey results

Q1: About how often do you go for all-you-can-eat meals? (Excluding hotel breakfast buffets) (Sample size=17,261)

Once a week or more 0.5%
Twice or thrice a month 1.9%
Once a month 6.8%
Once every two months 7.0%
Once every three or four months 11.8%
Once every six months 18.6%
Once a year 16.0%
Less than that 24.5%
Never 13.0%

Q2: What kind of all-you-can-eat meals do you go for? (Excluding hotel breakfast buffets) (Sample size=those eating them, multiple answer)

Yakiniku (grilled meat) 63.6%
All kinds of Western dishes 35.4%
Various dishes 35.3%
Cake, dessert 35.2%
Shabu-shabu, sukiyaki (hot pot) 34.8%
Sushi 30.7%
Chinese 29.5%
Italian 28.3%
All kinds of Japanese dishes 22.3%
Natural, organic foods 13.2%
Fish, sea food (crab, fugu, etc) 12.1%
Kushi-yaki, kushi-age skewers 11.0%
Curry 9.9%
Okonomiya, monju (savoury pancakes) 5.9%
Asian, ethnic 5.6%
French 3.0%
Seasonal cooking (matsutake mushroom fair, etc) 2.1%
Other 1.4%
No answer 0.3%

Q3: About how much do you usually pay for all-you-can-eat meals? (Sample size=those eating them)

Up to 999 yen 1.7%
1,000 to 1,999 yen 48.1%
2,000 to 2,999 yen 33.9%
3,000 to 3,999 yen 12.6%
4,000 to 4,999 yen 2.0%
5,000 yen or more 1.0%
No answer 0.8%

Q4: Who do you go with to all-you-can-eat meals? (Sample size=those eating them, multiple answer)

Family 66.3%
Small group of friends 54.1%
Large group of friends 17.9%
Lover 12.1%
By myself 3.9%
Other 1.1%
No answer 0.7%

Q5: Thinking about the price, service, food, etc, at all-you-can-eat meals, how satisfied do you feel afterwards? (Sample size=those eating them)

Totally satisfied 8.5%
Quite satisfied 40.2%
It’s OK 38.7%
A little dissatisfied 10.3%
Totally dissatisfied 1.4%
No answer 0.9%

Q6: How do you obtain information about all-you-can-eat locations? (Sample size=17,261, multiple answer)

Word of mouth from friends, family 46.2%
Free paper 34.0%
Internet 30.1%
Shop sign or menu 21.6%
Advertising leaflet 20.0%
Television 19.2%
Magazine 18.1%
Newspaper 6.0%
Book 2.3%
Public transport advertisement 1.6%
Radio 1.4%
Other 1.3%
Nowhere in particular 15.3%
No answer 1.4%

Q7: What are the important points when selecting where to go for an all-you-can-eat meal? (Sample size=17,261, multiple answer)

Delicious food 76.0%
Varied menu 64.0%
Cheap 27.4%
Fast restocking of buffet 26.7%
Good shop atmosphere or view 24.1%
No restrictions 23.7%
Short waiting time 23.6%
Good customer service 22.0%
Discount coupons and other offers 21.9%
Can eat high-grade food 17.8%
Can make reservations 12.0%
Topic of conversation 8.2%
Famous shop 4.5%
Other 1.2%
Nothing in particular 5.7%
No answer 1.0%

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