TOKYO: Restaurant sales in Japan in October soared 14.8 pct from a year before on all-store basis to exceed the level in October 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japan Food Service Association said Friday.
Restaurant sales rose year on year for the 11th consecutive month as customer visits increased thanks to the government’s nationwide travel discount program and a drastic relaxation of border controls. Menu price hikes also boosted the value of sales.
In the reporting month, restaurant sales exceeded the pre-pandemic level for the first time since March 2021, when the association began comparing latest data with levels before the COVID-19 crisis.
The association said that menu price increases led to recovery in all business categories.
Fast-food restaurants saw their sales grow 9.9 pct thanks to recovery in eat-in demand. Especially, ramen noodle chains enjoyed brisk sales, led by special dishes offered for a limited time.
Sales at family restaurants climbed 20.3 pct after a year-before slump due to coronavirus restrictions on going out.
Sales at pubs and “izakaya” bars jumped 49.7 pct. But demand for after-parties and corporate parties stood at some 60 pct of the 2019 level.