In our modern digital age, it can be somewhat jarring to see Japan clinging so doggedly to its analogue roots. Despite being considered by many to be the home of technology, Japan is also a place where the fax machine is still considered a vital piece of office equipment, flip-phones are holding their own against smartphones, and without actual, physical cash, it is sometimes impossible to make a payment in a store or restaurant.
Like so many people these days, on the rare occasion that I order food in, I’m far more inclined to reach for my laptop than my phone, and a kitchen drawer stuffed with fast food menus is now something that I associate only with my childhood and university days. Even so, I receive anywhere between 10 and 15 fast food delivery menus through my door each week living here in Tokyo, with Pizza Hut and pals feeling the need to constantly remind me of their existence by showing me brightly coloured pictures of their food and telling me that they’re just a phone call away.
And now, it would seem, McDonald’s Japan has joined the ranks of companies employing shifty-looking dudes on scooters to push junk mail through my mail slot.
Since the very idea of McDonald’s delivery, or “McDelivery” as they insist on calling it, is completely alien to me (the service apparently exists in some countries but not others), the sight of a menu headed with the Golden Arches coming through my door came as a bit of a surprise. Homegrown competitor MOS Burger has been offering local–and kind of sweet –delivery for a while now, and I occasionally see McDonald’s delivery bikes zipping up and down the road outside my nearest station, but this is the first time McDonald’s has invited itself into my home by joining the junk-mailing masses.
But before this menu reaches its ultimate destination of the brown paper bag my wife and I keep by the kitchen bin for paper recyclables, I thought I’d share McDonald’s home delivery offerings with those of you who, like me, still find the idea of dialling for a Big Mac and fries incredibly odd.
We begin with the seasonal burgers, namely popular “wobbly egg” Tsukimi Burger (below left), artery-choking Chicken Cheese Tsukimi (centre), and new Kinoko Tsukimi, which features a helping of mushrooms.
The delivery menu features pretty much everything you’ll find at a typical branch of McDonald’s here in Japan, with Big Macs, Teriyaki Burgers, Ebi (prawn) Filet Burgers, as well as those weird-looking mushroom risotto balls , listed alongside all the usual drinks and sides.
It would seem that Mickey D’s will even deliver breakfast (below right) to you between the hours of 7:00 and 10:30 a.m., with coffee, fruit and vegetable juice, McMuffins and, um, hot dogs all available to order. Because who doesn’t want to feel like they’re at a baseball game the moment they roll out of bed?!
There are also set menus available for two or three people (or loners who want to calorie themselves to sleep), with two “value sets” going for 1,790 yen (US$16) or three for 2,304 yen. Breakfast for two – presumably minus the china cups pictured – will set you back 1,172 yen.
Since being forced to close 110 of its locations across Japan in 2013, McDonald’s has vowed to provide delivery to a greater number of areas, so it looks like McDonald’s menus will be joining those of their pizza, sushi, ramen and “family restaurant” competitors from now on. Still, I suppose it’s nice to be reminded every so often that I’m never more than a quick rummage through recycling bin from a cup of coffee and a hot dog at 7:00 in the morning.