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Restaurant industry in Japan - statistics & facts

Restaurants in Japan offer a wide array of dishes that cater to different budgets and tastes. As a result, Japan’s restaurant landscape is highly diverse. The Japanese categorization of the restaurant industry can differ depending on the source. One possible breakdown includes the following segments: hamburger and stir-fry restaurants, Western and ethnic restaurants, cafeterias including family restaurants, Japanese style restaurants, soba, udon, and sushi restaurants, as well as Chinese restaurants and ramen shops. The restaurant industry is an important branch of the service industry, generating annual revenues worth trillions of Japanese yen. The industry is also one of the most relevant segments in terms of employment, securing millions of jobs. Japanese food is renowned and popular around the world, as attested by the spread and abundance of sushi restaurants in many countries, as well as the introduction of words such as sushi, wasabi, ramen, or bento box into the English dictionary. The traditional Japanese diet is said to be nutritionally well-balanced and healthy, which is also one of the commonly attributed reasons for the notorious longevity of Japanese people. In fact, food is one of the most coveted elements of Japanese culture by foreign visitors.  

High competitivity

  The restaurant industry in Japan is said to be highly competitive. This manifests itself in various ways, as industry players try to differentiate themselves through convenience, among other means. For instance, the opening hours of shops (in metropolitan areas) are typically long, and many chain restaurants that offer casual dining are open around the clock. The high competition might also be the reason for priceworthy dining experiences for consumers at the lower spectrum of the price range, and low wages earned by employees, many of whom work in part-time or temporary positions. Furthermore, a good deal of the market share is owned by a handful of companies. A possible consequence is that new industry players and small businesses face an uphill battle in terms of competitiveness and survivability. The market is dominated by domestic companies, with McDonald’s being the only exception that has made it into the top ten regarding annual revenue.

 Culture of dining out 

Dining out is usual in Japan, especially in metropolitan areas, which provide an abundance of options for consumers. Enjoying the local gastronomy is, to a certain extent, part of the work-life culture, as visiting izakaya (pub dining restaurants) is a common way in some corporations to socialize with colleagues. Reportedly, a good amount of business deals and political decisions are made in izakaya and ryotei (high-end entertainment restaurants) while practicing nomunication (a compound word formed from the Japanese verb nomu which means to drink, and the English word communication). Before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than  40 percent of men  and 25 percent of women frequented restaurants weekly. The rate and frequency of utilization vary across demographic layers. In general, figures show men eating more often out than women, while the frequentation rate of restaurants drops with increasing age. The trends are somewhat similar for take-out and bento services. Compared to the leading countries in the food delivery business, delivery services in Japan are still minor but are increasingly gaining importance, as the segment has experienced a boost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key figures

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Coffee shops

Western fast food chain restaurants

Food delivery

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Restaurant industry in Japan".

Restaurant industry in Japan

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Restaurant industry in Japan - statistics & facts

Restaurants in Japan offer a wide array of dishes that cater to different budgets and tastes. As a result, Japan’s restaurant landscape is highly diverse. The Japanese categorization of the restaurant industry can differ depending on the source. One possible breakdown includes the following segments: hamburger and stir-fry restaurants, Western and ethnic restaurants, cafeterias including family restaurants, Japanese style restaurants, soba, udon, and sushi restaurants, as well as Chinese restaurants and ramen shops. The restaurant industry is an important branch of the service industry, generating annual revenues worth trillions of Japanese yen. The industry is also one of the most relevant segments in terms of employment, securing millions of jobs. Japanese food is renowned and popular around the world, as attested by the spread and abundance of sushi restaurants in many countries, as well as the introduction of words such as sushi, wasabi, ramen, or bento box into the English dictionary. The traditional Japanese diet is said to be nutritionally well-balanced and healthy, which is also one of the commonly attributed reasons for the notorious longevity of Japanese people. In fact, food is one of the most coveted elements of Japanese culture by foreign visitors.  

High competitivity

  The restaurant industry in Japan is said to be highly competitive. This manifests itself in various ways, as industry players try to differentiate themselves through convenience, among other means. For instance, the opening hours of shops (in metropolitan areas) are typically long, and many chain restaurants that offer casual dining are open around the clock. The high competition might also be the reason for priceworthy dining experiences for consumers at the lower spectrum of the price range, and low wages earned by employees, many of whom work in part-time or temporary positions. Furthermore, a good deal of the market share is owned by a handful of companies. A possible consequence is that new industry players and small businesses face an uphill battle in terms of competitiveness and survivability. The market is dominated by domestic companies, with McDonald’s being the only exception that has made it into the top ten regarding annual revenue.

 Culture of dining out 

Dining out is usual in Japan, especially in metropolitan areas, which provide an abundance of options for consumers. Enjoying the local gastronomy is, to a certain extent, part of the work-life culture, as visiting izakaya (pub dining restaurants) is a common way in some corporations to socialize with colleagues. Reportedly, a good amount of business deals and political decisions are made in izakaya and ryotei (high-end entertainment restaurants) while practicing nomunication (a compound word formed from the Japanese verb nomu which means to drink, and the English word communication). Before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than  40 percent of men  and 25 percent of women frequented restaurants weekly. The rate and frequency of utilization vary across demographic layers. In general, figures show men eating more often out than women, while the frequentation rate of restaurants drops with increasing age. The trends are somewhat similar for take-out and bento services. Compared to the leading countries in the food delivery business, delivery services in Japan are still minor but are increasingly gaining importance, as the segment has experienced a boost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Restaurant industry in Japan".

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