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Restaurants grapple with upcoming changes in consumption tax rate

The Yomiuri ShimbunRestaurants and other eateries are taking different approaches ahead of a new system that will impose a lower consumption tax rate on food and beverages that are taken out, as opposed to those eaten at the establishment.

A lower tax rate system for food and other items will be introduced in October at the same time as the main consumption tax increase. An 8 percent tax rate will be applied to all foods and beverages to be taken out, while a 10 percent tax rate will be imposed on those to be consumed at eateries.

Some operators plan to use different prices for foods and beverages depending on whether they are in the eating-in or takeout category, while others are considering having the same prices for both categories.

Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd. on Friday announced it will charge the 8 percent tax rate on all takeout foods and beverages, while the 10 percent tax rate will be imposed on those consumed at its coffee shops.

“Our staff’s activities will remain unchanged, and they’ll ask customers whether they want to take their orders out or eat them at the coffee shop,” a Starbucks Coffee official said.

Among gyudon beef bowl restaurants, Yoshinoya Holdings Co. plans to have different after-tax prices for takeout foods and for those to be consumed in-store.

In contrast, Matsuya Foods Holdings Co., which operates Matsuya restaurants, is considering charging the same after-tax prices for the two categories.

Generally, pre-tax prices of takeout foods and beverages increase due to additional packaging fees. Thus consumers will pay more or less the same after-tax prices.

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