Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese government has instituted new smoking regulations that will reduce smoking in 36% of restaurants. The city of Tokyo is enacting tougher regulations that will ban it in around 80% of eating and drinking establishments.
Nakada Holdings, which runs a chain of kushikatsu (deep-fried meat skewer) restaurants, decided to get a leg up on the law, and instituted a total ban in 180 of its 190 stores starting in June. (The remaining 10 stores have cordoned-off smoking sections.) The results after a month were somewhat surprising. The average amount spent per customer dropped by about 5%, and overall profit compared to last year dropped by 2.9%. But the actual number of customers in the store increased by 2.2%, something the chain had not been expecting. The rise is attributed to more families visiting the new smoke-free environments. The store reports being buoyed by the results, and hopes to see a further increase in customers as word of the ban spreads.
Customer and employee reaction to the ban has been mixed. Some customers like the smoke-free environment, while others don’t see the point of drinking if they can’t also smoke. And while employees also find the stores an easier place to work, some expressed disappointment that regular customers have stopped coming.
(JP) Link: Kushikatsu Nakada Bans Smoking, Sees an Unexpected 2% Increase in Customers; Profits Drop — Asahi Shinbun Digital
I'm the publisher of Unseen Japan. I hold an N1 Certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and am married to a wonderful woman from Tokyo.
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