World Cup helps push up restaurant sales in Nov.

REUTERS/Yuya Shino
People sit on stools outside a Japanese pub-style restaurant at a business district in Tokyo, April 30, 2015.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Restaurant sales in Japan in November rose 8.9% from a year before, up for the 12th straight month, the Japan Food Service Association has said.

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where Japan reached the round of 16, gave a lift to fast food takeouts and deliveries, the association said Monday.

Restaurants also enjoyed brisk demand from foreign visitors after the easing of the government’s coronavirus-related border control measures and the start of a nationwide travel discount program.

The November sales continued to exceed those of three years before, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fast food restaurant sales rose 9.2% from a year before, with a major hamburger chain’s menu items with a World Cup theme selling well.

Sales at pubs and izakaya Japanese-style bars grew 14.7%, as establishments showing World Cup matches attracted visitors and there was early demand for year-end parties.

But the sector’s sales were only about 60% of pre-pandemic levels due to the lack of large-scale drinking parties and after parties.