Restaurant chains tap home-bound demand

NHK -- Aug 03
As COVID infection cases continue to rise in Japan, ever more diners are opting for takeout or delivery to keep the infection risk to a minimum. And dining chains are wasting no time catering to the growing demand.

The Tokyo Olympics appear to be playing a role too. Major restaurant chain Skylark Holdings saw delivery jump by 21 percent over a four-day holiday in late July when the Games began, compared to the previous weekend.

The company even opened an outlet last month in Tokyo dedicated to deliveries and take-outs.

It says it is now considering expanding the service area to cover all of Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures.

Beef-bowl chain Yoshinoya says take-outs accounted for more than half of its sales over that four-day weekend. That's after it started offering discounts for customers who buy in bulk to dine at home.

Other restaurant chains reported similar boosts. Royal Host says average sales from take-outs and deliveries grew about 30 percent from the previous Sunday.

Deliveries at Sukiya were up about 10 percent from the previous Saturday.