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Have it your way? 2012/7/11 00:32
And no I'm not talking about Mcdonalds.

Several years ago I believe I read an article of sorts about America being one of few or perhaps many (it was quite a while ago when I read this) countries that had a "have it your way" mentality. Meaning were use to being able to getting things customized, changed, personalized, etc, etc. Though there of course are always exceptions in America too.

Anyways I was just curious if anyone knew if Japan was a country with or without a "have it your way" mentality.

Thanks in advance.
by Matt (guest)  

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/11 08:18
Since you mentioned McDonald's, somehow my mind got stuck on fast food chains lol. In the States, I guess "have it your way" is so common that some greasy spoons need to state on the menu "No substitution for breakfast set menus" or something like that :) "Have it your way" means "it's at your risk," right?

In Japan, everyone's supposed to conform - so it's rather "you choose from what we have" kind of mentality. But I suppose things have been changing. "Personalizing" or "customization" has been (or was) the key in marketing consumer goods.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/11 11:50
BTW "Have it your way" was Burger King's slogan.
by Umami Dearest rate this post as useful

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/11 21:27

Is Japan a country with a "have it your way" mentality in the way the U.S. is? I would say the answer is no. And there are 2 ways of explaining it.

1. The majority of the residents (meaning a high percentage of the population of native people living from coast to coast, and not just about the yappies in the city) find it difficult to know what they want. They prefer to enjoy what they are "served" and they prefer not to go through the "effort" of making choices themselves.

2. The majority of the workers (meaning the same as above) find that those who make lots of requests are annoying. They'd rather serve "yes-men" who smiles and says yes to all you provide, not people who say opinions when they're not even asked to say them.

So while, in the recent years, a lot of organizations like Subways and Starbucks are trying to accept the "have-it-your-way" mentality, what they are providing are "options." They have their set menu which the majority of their customers choose, and then they give you options to arrange them, but mainly within the optional menu they provide.

If you want to make special requests, you are often expected to be the "good" customer who pays loads of money, or the "friend" who's been coming to your place for years.

Of course, there are many exceptions, but this is how I view the majority.

And is this traditional? Not really. About a century ago, or perhaps even a few decades ago, things were a bit more flexible.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/12 11:02
It is ironic for a country that often references the slogan "the customer is god" to have such "bad" customer service.

When I say "bad", I mean in the American sense of being able to adjust methods to make the customer happier.
Japan fails miserably at this.

Just the other day, getting a bottle of tonic water and lemon slices, which is not on the menu at Za Watami, required confirming with the manager. I got what I wanted but more often than not "if it ain't on the menu, you ain't getting it".

Unfortunately, one of the ways Japan serious lacks behind the USA is diverse and dynamic thinking in everyday situations.
I think it's because education here is so focused on memorization and test taking that as children little time is given to interaction, problem solving, conflict resolution, and free thinking.

This is probably also why Japan has a higher suicide rate. Failure to process = brain and body shuts down. When that happens, so people just shut down completely.
by ...CMK (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/12 14:00
I am not sure if you are trying to compare the cheap fast food and delicatessen joint's make to order marketing ploy(mentality?) for majority of restaurants in US and Japan?
Most Japanese don't want to build a sandwich layer by layer. It is considered too much trouble and go to where they serve what they like. Options are abundant in Japan where as in US it is limited.
US restaurants may give a few more options because of one big main plate of a dish you order from the menu, i.e. steak doneness, fries or rice, salad dressing on the side, etc. where as Japanese restaurants may give very limited option, if at all, due to the way the Japanese food is prepared and served, i.e. a bunch of many small dishes.
I can go into other differences of restaurant operation, chef/waitress employment/attitude, etc. but some other time.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/12 16:45
I'm Japanese and I think Japan has "Have it Your Way" mentality. European style breaded meat became Tonkatsu, while battered-food became Tempura. No Anime would ever be seen the light of the day without Disney, and The Beatles' sounds definitely gave a birth to J-pop...

"Have it Your Way" sounds negative, but I think we are just localizing or accomodating things to fit into onefs culture, habitat, or taste. Generally, the stronger its cultural foundation is, the more "imported culture" deforms. I think nothing wrong there. And I love California Roll and Broccoli tempura.
by jomonstrider rate this post as useful

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/13 00:20
I agree with jomonstrider, but that has nothing to do with the topic, does it?
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Have it your way? 2012/7/17 07:46
I think the stands in the shadowy shallow alleys at Akiba that sell each and every thinkable electronics part on a per-item basis, would be a good example of "have it your way".

The same goes for some "accessorize" shops for girls, were they can pick out parts of an accesory and build something out of that.

Talking about food, in my mind okonomiyake comes very close to having it your way (oishii!)
by thany rate this post as useful

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