Conveyer belt sushi shops in Japan [JAPAN]


Japan, Aug. 22, 2016

“SUSHI”, which can be said to be representative of Japanese food culture, is available in a variety of types of shops, such as professional sushi chef restaurants, take-out specialized shops, and conveyer belt sushi chain shops, throughout Japan. Even in the conveyer belt sushi sector, there are many major chain shops such as “SUSHIRO”, which operates more than 400 shops* in Japan, “KURAZUSHI”, which operates more than 360 shops*, “Kappa-Sushi”, “Hamazushi”, and so forth, and each shop/restaurant in a variety of forms competes intensively to acquire customers in the sushi industry. (*from information on their HPs).

The above-mentioned major conveyer belt sushi chain shops provide a variety of sushi menus, and most sushi is provided at 100 JPY (108 JPY, including consumption tax) for one plate with normally two pieces of sushi. Some sushi plates, however, are provided at more than 100 JPY (excluding tax) depending on the type of sushi. Even so, conveyer belt sushi chain shops are very popular with ordinary Japanese people as they provide tasty sushi at a reasonable price.

Aside from sushi, which is normally considered the main item on the menu, conveyer belt sushi chain shops are putting a great deal of effort into the enhancement of side menus such as by offering French fries, fried chicken, Japanese noodles (UDON and RAMEN), Japanese curry, or even desserts like cakes or parfaits. The price of these side menu items varies depending on the chain shop company, but these items are mostly provided within a price range of between 100 JPY (excluding tax) and 400 JPY (excluding tax). There are, however, some side menu items with a price of close to 1,000 JPY (excluding tax).

Some people may wonder why French fries or RAMEN (Japanese noodles) or curry are served in a sushi shop. There are many family customers coming to such low price oriented conveyer belt sushi chain shops, and the variety of side menus could be very attractive especially for children.

This can be one of the good examples of a marketing strategy that clarifies who their targets are, and that provides customers with services corresponding to their potential needs, by breaking away from the conventional concept of “Sushi shops provide only sushi”.

 *Any feedback on this column or suggestion of possible themes/topics would be greatly appreciated.