October restaurant sales plunge in Japan
NHK -- Nov 27
Sales at major restaurant chains in Japan plunged in October due to the effects of Typhoon Hagibis and the consumption tax hike at the start of the month.

The Japan Food Service Association says sales fell 2.4 percent from the same month last year. It is the first time sales dropped more than two percent since June 2015.

The slump is partly due to the typhoon which forced many stores, mostly in the Kanto region, to close or shorten their hours.

Customers also stayed away from family restaurants and Japanese-style bars or "izakaya" due to a hike in the tax rate from 8 percent to 10 percent.

Meanwhile, sales rose at fast-food chains where take-out food was exempt from the tax hike, and at pubs and beer halls where people could watch the World Cup Rugby matches held in Japan.

An association official said the weather was a large factor in the sales drop in October and more time will be needed to determine how much the tax hike is affecting customers' sentiment.

News source: NHK
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