May 18, 2022

Where is Sharon? Japanese restaurant pulls out all the stops to find overworked customer

Yatai Izakaya's owner, Barbara Taniyama, desperately searches for

WARWICK SMITH / Stuff

Yatai Izakaya’s owner, Barbara Taniyama, desperately searches for “Sharon” to give her the $8 she was overcharged.

A Japanese restaurant has embarked on a quest to find a customer who recently overcharged $8 for a takeout.

Japanese restaurant Yatai Izakaya in Palmerston North has posted a call on its social media pages for “Sharon”.

The owner, Barbara Taniyama, only knew the woman’s first name and hoped her position would attract the elusive customer.

“It just didn’t sit well with me,” she said. “Someone who loyally supports you doesn’t deserve to be fucked.

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Yatai Restaurant is nestled among the suburban homes of Featherston Street, and inside it's like stepping into a rural Japanese tavern.

WARWICK SMITH / Stuff

Yatai Restaurant is nestled among the suburban homes of Featherston Street, and inside it’s like stepping into a rural Japanese tavern.

“I didn’t know how to contact her. And I thought, maybe on this Facebook post, someone might know a Sharon who comes here regularly.

The search took off among the community of Palmerston North. The post quickly garnered over 200 likes and was shared almost 60 times.

Local radio station More FM even put up a notice board next to the Featherston Street restaurant looking for Sharon.

The radio hosts asked Sharons from Palmerston North to phone and reveal if it was them.

Taniyama runs the restaurant with her husband Atsushi.

Atsushi is from Japan and Barbara spent long periods there. They incorporate it into the dishes they serve and it adds to the authenticity of the restaurant.

“People say really nice things,” she said. “They say ‘this shows how much you care about your customers’.

“We got messages from all over the city and beyond, so it’s been good reconnecting with people too.”

Taniyama was very surprised at how well the post went.

“I’m surprised they find it interesting. I thought most people are honest and would like to give someone back the money they took.

The elusive Sharon remains at large, but there’s no doubt that if she finds her way back to Yatai, her purse will be reunited with the missing money.