Matching App Tired Men and Women Flood “One-on-One Dating Izakaya
As the COVID-19 crisis has reduced the number of opportunities for face-to-face encounters, the number of users of matching apps has been increasing. On the other hand, there are also voices of “matching app fatigue. Amidst this situation, a “certain izakaya” is attracting attention among men and women seeking to meet new people. Mr. K, an unmarried man in his 50s who started a relationship with a single woman in her 30s, told us about his experience at this izakaya, which has a steady stream of customers even during the COVID-19 crisis.
I tried using a matching app to meet women, but I had to compete with other men to be matched with a woman, and my age was a disadvantage. I never got to the point of meeting women, so I quit after 3 months because I thought it was a waste of money and time.
That is when I met a certain Izakaya. There are several izakayas in Tokyo, so I use an app to check how crowded they are and choose the one with the most women. It is interesting because the clientele differs from store to store. It is almost impossible for an old man like me to meet someone on a matching app, but with one-on-one izakaya, I have a good chance because I can definitely meet and talk with them. My current girlfriend is in her 30s, but we met at a restaurant in Shinjuku.”
says Mr. K, an unmarried man in his 50s. Although face-to-face encounters are restricted by the COVID-19 crisis, many of those seeking relationships and marriage joined matching applications in search of a chance to meet people without having to meet them in person. On the other hand, as Ms. K. explains, the hurdles to meeting people are so high that some men, including her, have begun to show signs of “matching app fatigue.
According to Media Studio’s survey, this trend is also evident among women, with approximately 90% of women who have used matching apps having felt “tired of using them. Why do they feel tired even though they joined the apps because they wanted to? Shiori Sakamoto, director of “Aiseki LABO,” which conducts research on love, marriage, and dating, analyzes as follows.
When we talk to women, they say, ‘I get a lot of messages and it’s hard to respond,’ ‘There are a lot of men who are just looking for fun,’ or ‘It’s a hassle to exchange messages. Some say, “There are many steps before reaching a date, and even if you do meet a guy, the chemistry is not right. Many women feel stressed after repeating these things and stop using matching apps.
On the other hand, it seems that matching apps are also a challenging tool for men to meet someone. For example, as soon as a woman registers as a new user with a “good-looking” photo, she is flooded with “likes” from countless men. The competition among men is fierce. Competition among men is fierce, and it is extremely difficult just to exchange messages. There have even been cases of people saying that they could not meet anyone at all, even though they had been paying for the service for months.
Women who visit the store are in the ……
THE SINGLE” is a one-on-one Aiseki izakaya that is attracting attention from men and women who want to meet their partners but feel limited by matching apps. It is operated by Section8, which also operates “Aisekiya.
Currently, THE SINGLE has expanded to Ebisu, Ginza, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ueno, Yokohama, and other locations. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the shops are crowded even on weekdays, and on weekends they are so popular that you have to make reservations early to get in. Kazuyoshi Kondo of Section Eight said, “We are very pleased to be able to offer this new service to our customers.
THE SINGLE, which started in 2020, is doing well and membership is growing steadily. Especially since the lifting of the anti-epidemic measures in March 2022, the number of new members has increased dramatically.
As of August 2022, there were a total of 73,590 male and female members, and the number continues to increase by about 4,000 every month. Of these, 6,068 men and 5,133 women, almost half men and half women, were members who visited the store in August. This means that a large number of men and women are sitting together and searching for lovers. The clientele is mainly in their 20s and 30s. Occupations vary, but many of the women are in the beauty, medical, and childcare fields, and some are school teachers. It is believed that people who do not have opportunities to meet people at work or school are visiting the store.
Let me explain the system. To use the service, you must first register as a member using a dedicated smartphone app. At that time, they are asked to submit identification (for the purpose of preventing age and identity fraud). Married people and people with lovers are cautioned not to register.
After checking the congestion status of each store on the app, make a reservation and visit the store. Once you arrive at the restaurant, a staff member will guide you to a match with a member of the opposite sex, and you will be seated in a private room for 20 minutes. Once the matchmaking process begins, you can view the other person’s profile on the app, so there is no need to worry about topics of conversation.
After the matchmaking session ends, after a break, you can continue to match with another person or leave the restaurant. On average, a customer will have four or five people, both men and women, to share a table with during a single visit. The fee is 2,200 yen for men and free for women for each shared table, including all-you-can-drink. No meals are provided, so women who are looking for a “free meal” do not come to the restaurant as they do at conventional izakaya (Japanese-style pubs).
We interviewed users at ……
The key point is the system of rating each other’s mannerisms on the app after the matchmaking session is over. As the ratings accumulate, the members are rated as “Gold,” “Platinum,” or “Diamond. Members with high ratings are given privileges such as use of VIP private rooms. Members with poor manners, such as bad language, receive a low rating and may even be banned from entering the restaurant. If there is a member who is trying to solicit or have a daddy-daddy relationship, he or she will be asked to leave the restaurant on the spot.
Once you have met someone, you can exchange messages with them on the app for a week afterward. This is a mechanism to prevent the situation where a member is too embarrassed to exchange contact information. If the two parties hit it off after exchanging messages on the dedicated app, they can then exchange LINEs, etc., leading to a date, which is the usual flow.
However, simply sitting down with someone is not enough to hit it off with them. It is also important to have a fun conversation to get things going.
If all you do is look at the profile on the app and talk about your occupation and hobbies, it’s not interesting, and you’ll end up being one of the many people on the other side of the table. The moment you meet someone, you can make a strong impression by saying, “Your job is as a health teacher, right? It’s important to leave a strong impression (laughs).
Following the success of THE SINGLE, other companies in the same industry have begun to open one-on-one matching rooms. Cloud N, which operates “Oriental Lounge,” “ag,” and other “aiseki taverns,” opened “pinx,” a one-person-only aiseki bar, on September 1. This one can be said to be an aiseki bar targeting a wider range of customers, as there are no requirements such as “married couples or those with lovers are not allowed.
Director Sakamoto of the aforementioned Aiseki LABO explains the merits of one-on-one Aiseki Bar, saying, “With matching apps, you can meet people of the opposite sex.
With one-on-one matching restaurants, you can sit down with a number of people without fail and have a conversation with them. It is more efficient because you can find someone who is a good match and move on to the next step.
From interviews with actual users, we got the impression that many of the women who come to 1:1 Aiseki Shops are proactive and active women who seriously want to meet someone. Therefore, we believe that even men who are not very good at conversation can have fun and have a lively conversation. I would recommend it to men who are aggressive as well as those who are new to relationships.”
People use matching apps to find efficient encounters, but in fact, the one-on-one aisatsuya, a realistic place to meet people, is more efficient and easier to take the first step. How about giving it a try in the fall, when you will miss the human touch?
Interview and text by： Hira Yukio
Freelance writer. After working for a planning and production company for in-house magazines, became a freelance writer in 2005. In addition to helping companies create PR and sales promotion content, he writes articles on business, IT, and money for various media. He has also done a lot of book writing.