Kura Sushi to add ¥220 plates to regular menu

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A staffer shows the ¥220 sushi lineup at a Kura Sushi restaurant in Sumida Ward, Tokyo.

Major conveyor-belt sushi chain Kura Sushi, Inc. on Friday added 19 items costing ¥220 a plate to its regular menu.

Kura Sushi previously sold all of its regular menu items for ¥110, and is increasing the proportion of higher-priced selections in a bid to boost average sales per customer. There have also been moves in the industry to raise prices in response to soaring costs for raw materials.

Called the Dekitate (freshly made) series, all the ¥220 items are prepared after being ordered. The new lineup is value-added, including “large-cut tuna,” “shrimp avocado” with twice as much avocado, and “double cheese salmon” with two kinds of grilled cheese.

Until now, ¥110 sushi has accounted for 70% of the items served by the Kura Sushi chain, and ¥220 plates were offered only during limited-time campaigns. The company said it will raise the proportion of the ¥220 sushi to 40% by making them regular items.

“We want to satisfy the needs of consumers, who would rather save money on everyday purchases and splurge on special occasions,” Kura Sushi Director Hiroyuki Okamoto said at a press conference on Wednesday. He indicated that the company aims to capitalize on recovering demand for eating out as restrictions on people’s movements have been eased.

The conveyor-belt sushi industry has been attracting customers with its low prices, but there have been moves to raise prices. Food & Life Companies Ltd., which operates the largest chain, Sushiro, has announced that it will raise the basic price of its menu items from ¥110 per plate to ¥120 from October.

In June, Hama-Sushi Co. ended its ¥90 per plate service, which was offered on weekdays only, citing rapidly increasing raw material prices.

The purchase price of marine products has been rising due to soaring fuel costs for fishing vessels, the rapid depreciation of the yen and disruptions in the supply chain caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sushi chain operators are coping with this situation by increasing the price of items.