Restaurant Sales in Japan Dive 17 Pct in March on Virus Impact

Economy

Tokyo, April 27 (Jiji Press)--Restaurant sales in Japan in March plunged 17.3 pct from a year before on an all-store basis, marking the steepest decline since the current statistics began in 1994, due to the impact from the outbreak of the new coronavirus, industry data showed Monday.

The number of customers fell sharply due to the spread of the virus, according to the Japan Food Service Association.

Restaurants in downtown Tokyo especially suffered due to the metropolitan government's request for residents to refrain from outings for unessential purposes on weekends and at nighttime as part of efforts to contain the outbreak.

Sales at pubs and "izakaya" dining bars plummeted 43.3 pct, due to cancellations of welcome and farewell parties. The sales decline in fast food chains was limited to 6.9 pct thanks to growth in takeout and delivery orders.

In April, sales are expected to decline further due to shutdowns and shortened operating hours as the Japanese government expanded its coronavirus state of emergency nationwide, an association official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press