Meal ticket machines are an unfamiliar sight overseas, but large chain stores and ramen restaurants in Japan use meal ticket machines to give customers a convenient way to purchase and pay for their meals.
How to use a meal ticket machine
If a meal ticket machine is available, you need to purchase a meal ticket before taking your seat.
Some machines cannot accept 5000 yen and 10000 yen bills, but you may ask staff at the store to change your bills if you do not have a smaller amount available.
Most meal ticket machines are cash-only and do not accept credit card payments.
Like automatic vending machine when you insert money into the the meal ticket machine, the indicator panel lights up to indicate items you can purchase with the amount you inserted.
Product prices are printed directly on the buttons themselves.
Some meal ticket machines also have pictures and English menu names available.
Press the button of the item you want to purchase.
Note that some machines will allow you to purchase multiple items per transaction and will not give you change back until you press the "coin refund" button.
Once you have your meal ticket, take your seat and hand your ticket over to the staff behind the counter.
You may leave immediately as soon as you are done with your meal as the meal has already been paid for.