In Europe, there are only two ways to pay for your meals.
1) You order and you pay. Then you get the meal. For example = McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and etc.
2) You order and you eat. Then you pay when you leave the place. For example, restaurants.
However, in Japan, there is another option.
3) You buy a ticket from the vending machine and you pass the ticket to the staff. Then, you get the meal and you eat it.
Especially this food ticket system exists mostly at noodle bars and food courts along highways. The bad thing for non-Japanese is that the vending machines are in Japanese language only. Mostly do not have any pictures shown at the machine therefore a person who does not understand Japanese cannot choose the proper meal.
Then, these restaurants do not even have menu cards, therefore you have to choose your meal when you are looking at the machine.
The good things for ticket system are:
1) The staff does not have to handle the money - can concentrate on cooking and serving the meal.
2) You can leave any time you want - the meal is paid already when you buy the ticket. It means if someone calls you right after the purchase of the ticket, you can leave the noodle bar and meet the person whom called you.
3) No mistake - you know what you ordered and the staff knows too. No misunderstanding at all. You get what is written on the ticket.
Sometimes the ticket can be easily cut into two. One half should be given to the staff and the you keep the second half. When the staff delivers the meal, you pass the second half of the ticket when you get the meal.
The ticket machine is ideal for owners who do not have to worry about the staffs stealing the money and also easy to know how many meals were sold.