Major Japanese dining chain Pronto wants to reinvigorate the public's appetite for eating out by taking an approach that fits with the times. While the coronavirus has seen a fall in demand for larger gatherings, the company sees opportunity in catering to small groups, or even individuals.
Pronto opened a semi-standing wine bar in Tokyo's Minato Ward in late July. It targets mainly young working women seeking a quick bite and a drink before heading home.
The 22 seats are arranged spaciously. And instead of offering dishes for sharing, the food comes on smaller plates for individuals.
What's more, the tables are tall, allowing diners to more easily enjoy their food and drink quickly, without being seated.
So far, the number of customers has been about half of what Pronto aimed for. On average, they spend half-an-hour inside, which is what the company expected.
A senior official at Pronto said there are people who still want to eat out, despite the fall in demand. He added that the company hopes to create new restaurants that fit the current situation.