Japan's 'family restaurants' struggle in pandemic

A private credit-research firm says the number of Japan's "family restaurants" has fallen more than 8 percent compared to the end of 2019.

Family restaurants are casual eating establishments that cater to families and customers of all ages.

A survey by Tokyo Shoko Research looked at 11 major listed chains. Their restaurants numbered 8,322 at the end of March, down 793, or 8.6 percent, from the end of 2019, just before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

The research firm says the trend will likely continue at least until the end of this year.

The chains are trying to fight back by boosting food-delivery services and changing their business models.