5. Izakaya (居酒屋) vs Public Houses (part 2)
Ordering drinks and settling bills
In public houses, it is common to buy ‘rounds’; this involves one person in the group purchasing everyone’s drink, then when everyone finishes that drink, another person buys a ‘round’. This is due to the ordering system described last week. When the premise is crowded, it can take a significant amount of time queuing and ordering. If each individual leaves the table to get a drink, there may not be many left to converse and have a social gathering.
At izakaya, the bill is settled at the end. Most of the time, it is split equally amongst members. There are exceptions: For example, if a group of university students go for a drink with professors or a group of businessmen gathers for an after-work ‘R & R’, the professor and company superior would usually pay all or a significant portion of the bill. Settling bills at the end may be disadvantageous for moderate drinkers as they may have to pay for more than they have ordered. Same could be applied to the ‘round’ system where you might feel pressurised to ‘pitch in’.
Social events in public houses
Public houses offer a wide range of social events which izakaya do not offer. Range of entertainment offered is extensive, and consumers can choose which pub to go to depending on what venue is being held.
A typical example is a pub quiz. This involves many teams made up of usually 2-5 members answering questions from a wide range of topics and subjects. Each member will have to pay an entrance fee which the majority will be given to the winning team.
Some pubs host concerts and gigs, usually for young and upcoming bands. What type of music or which group will be allowed to play depends on the owner. Many British bands have traditionally played in various pubs to become popular and get scouted by record labels.