Nitori furniture chain opens low-price steakhouses

Nikkei -- May 07
Japanese retailer Nitori Holdings is getting into the restaurant business, where it will apply the same cost-cutting model it has honed in its furniture business to steakhouses.

The company, which plans to get into ranching to more affordably supply its restaurants, sees opportunities in the dining sector, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nitori has recently opened low-priced steakhouses in its furniture stores in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.

The eateries are outfitted with Nitori furniture and tableware, which allows the Ikea rival to reduce operating costs.

The plan is to follow the integrated production-to-sales model that Nitori has perfected in the furniture business.

The core menu item is chicken-fried steak, which sells for 500 yen ($4.58). Major family restaurant chains sell similar items for around 800 yen.

"Hamburg" steak, a popular item at some restaurants in Japan, sells for 700 yen, and rib-eye steak goes for 990 yen.

Take-away orders and home delivery service are also available.

Nitori Public, a subsidiary of Nitori Holdings operates the restaurant division. The restaurants' interiors are handled in-house by a specialized division that oversees the company's remodeling business.

To reduce rental costs, the company will locate its restaurants on the premises of about 450 Nitori stores across Japan.

Ingredients are purchased directly from food makers, but Nitori plans to get involved in livestock farming to cut costs.

- Nikkei