McDonald’s Japan T-Shaped Counter Chairs Meant To Save Space, Says Spokesperson
Anywhere you travel, there’s likely to be a McDonald’s. While the menus all differ in some ways, you generally know what you’re in for: relatively affordable, comforting food and an inexpensive place to hang.
But one McDonald’s outlet in Tokyo, Japan, doesn’t appear so keen on customers chilling there, if one viral image is any indication.
On 11 Mar, a Twitter user posted an image of T-shaped seats by the counter, which appear barely large enough for any bum to rest on.
“The chairs at McDonald’s in Tokyo are disgusting,” the OP wrote in the tweet.
In response, a McDonald’s Japan spokesperson explained that the chairs were installed to allow more people to have a quick meal as they take up less space.
McDonald’s Japan chairs at one outlet are T-shaped
The OP told a Japanese media outlet that he came across the tiny chairs, which were installed as counter-seats, at a McDonald’s outlet in Shinjuku.
Despite their appearance, he was actually able to sit on one of them.
However, he expressed his concern that elderly people may not be able to sit there due to worries that they might fall over.
As a comparison, here’s how chairs at another McDonald’s outlet in Shinjuku look.
The seats are noticeably rounder, allowing more room for your rear end to rest.
Netizens divided over chairs
The chairs do seem very uncomfortable to sit on, with little support for the rear end.
However, others pointed out that as these chairs are smaller, they would be less of a hindrance when passing through.
Another person also said that chairs like that may be meant to help reduce the amount of time one stays there.
This will increase turnover and allow more customers to have a seat, especially during peak hours.
Chairs are called ‘Hip Bar’
Finally, on 15 Mar, a McDonald’s spokesperson revealed the reason for having such chairs.
They’ve reportedly been around for quite a number of years and were introduced in some stores in Tokyo and Nagoya.
“At McDonald’s, we take into consideration the characteristics of our customers and the location of each store, and we adopt layouts and equipment that are suitable for each store,” he said.
Addressing the particular chair in question, they called it the “Hip Bar”.
Such seats tend not to be designed for users to sit on for long, somewhat resembling the sloping benches we have at many bus stops in Singapore.
“The ‘Hip Bar’ is designed for customers who want a quick meal in a short amount of time,” the spokesperson explained.
“It was installed in 2014 and 2015 so that as many customers as possible can enjoy their meals at restaurants with a lot of customers and limited seating space.”
While that’s the mystery somewhat solved, we think many would prefer comfier seats with a backrest if possible.
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Featured image adapted from Twitter and Google Maps, for illustration purposes only.
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