Reporter Hong Ye Xu Haiyan

  Rikudian Fu·Shaoniao Winery is located on Hanzhongmen Street, Nanjing City, where the traffic is constantly flowing. Hidden in the city, near the city but not noisy artistic conception.

The reporter noticed that the per capita unit price of this Japanese food store is 151 yuan.

There are many restaurants on both sides of the long and narrow Hanzhongmen Street. There are 4 daily food stores in total, and each family spends more than 100 yuan.

  According to the "China Catering Big Data 2021" released by Meituan, in 2019 and 2020, the average unit price of Japanese food is 101.4 yuan and 100.3 yuan respectively, ranking among the top of all catering categories.

Why do Japanese food stores have higher prices?

Does high price mean good quality?

The manpower for food transportation is superimposed, and the price of daily food is high

  "The classification of Japanese food stores is still very clear. For example, izakaya is a very traditional Japanese food store. It belongs to a small type of single store. Professional shops that make dishes for the main ingredients, but the category is relatively simple, and the per capita consumption of izakaya is about one or two hundred yuan; banquet dishes are generally made of traditional Japanese dishes, suitable for banquets for 4-6 people. Between 300 and 500 yuan; Omakase cuisine has no menu and belongs to high-end Japanese food. The chef decides the dishes and prices of the day according to the seasonal ingredients. There are about a dozen restaurants in Nanjing.” The Japanese Food Special Committee of the Nanjing Catering Chamber of Commerce Chairman Qiu Guohong introduced that the most expensive is the "Black Wood" of Suning Zhongshan International Golf Hotel, with a unit price of 3,145 yuan.

  The reporter randomly opened the menu of a Japanese food store and found that the prices of the dishes were mostly "decent": New Zealand crayfish sashimi 68 yuan, 5 slices of salmon thick cut 75 yuan, grilled eel 89 yuan, sukiyaki 288 yuan for a serving... There are not many daily ingredients, and some dishes that seem simple, why are they so expensive?

  The Nanjing Japanese restaurant "Sushi TSUBAKI" specializes in high-end dishes. The special price is 498 yuan for lunch and about 1,000 yuan for dinner.

Ms. Wang, the person in charge of the store, told reporters that high-end Japanese food pays attention to respecting the original taste of the ingredients. In order to achieve four distinct seasons, the expensive and fresh ingredients of the season must be selected.

Many ingredients, accessories, drinks, etc. in the store are imported. Under the epidemic, the cost of goods transportation has increased significantly, and the final price will naturally be high.

In addition, Japanese food stores focus on experience, and labor costs are high.

"For example, our store can only accept 28 customers when it is full, but the entire service team has 12 people. Except for holidays, the store usually only picks up one evening market, and the service staff knows the guests' dining preferences very well. The skill requirements are high, and the average monthly income of the master in front of the board is more than 20,000 yuan, and there are bonuses."

  "According to our research, the price of raw materials for daily ingredients has doubled compared to before the epidemic. Under the epidemic, many imported cold chains cannot enter, and we have to find domestic high-quality ingredients to replace them. There are two problems. First, domestic high-quality ingredients have yet to be developed and excavated, and field inspections are required, which consumes a lot of manpower; second, there are difficulties in transporting raw materials from many places in China, such as mushrooms from Yunnan, which need to be freshly transported by air, and the cost is also very high. Qiu Guohong told reporters that taking the most common eel in Japanese food as an example, in fact, many eels in Japan are imported from China, so the source is easier to find in China, and products from export manufacturers can be directly purchased in China.

However, the raw materials that can be purchased in all countries in the world can only be purchased domestically. The price of "more monks and less porridge" will naturally rise, and the cost will be higher.

  Ms. Wang also admitted that before the epidemic, many imported fresh fish with high grades can only be frozen now.

Before March this year, more ingredients were imported through Shanghai. Now, ingredients are imported from Xiamen and other places, and then transferred to Nanjing through the whole cold chain. The transportation cost has increased a lot.

"Although the cost is higher, the price has not increased. Now the ingredients imported from Japan arrive about once a week. In order to ensure freshness and reduce wastage, we use pre-ordering and pre-order ingredients according to the number of people, forming a virtuous circle."

The price difference is dozens of times, and the chaos of ingredients is highlighted

  Some consumers complained on the Internet: "In a so-called high-end Japanese food store, the price of 1980 yuan per person is shocking. The taste is average, the crab is not fresh, and the color of the tuna sashimi is black. I don't know the reviews on the comment software. Where did the good reviews come from?"

  Can a Japanese food store with per capita consumption of hundreds or even thousands of yuan really guarantee the freshness of the ingredients?

  The owner of a Japanese food store in Nanjing revealed that the majority of Japanese food stores like "Sushi Tsubaki" have not raised their prices, not because they don't want to increase, but because they can't. After so many years, non-chain Japanese food stores are basically repeat customers. Mainly, the price system is stable. If you increase the price, consumers will not come.

"Therefore, some shops have begun to use cheap ingredients to ensure their profit margins. For example, you can buy instant products online for small dishes, such as seaweed salad, 15 yuan for 2 pounds; mustard octopus, spicy fresh clams, sweet and spicy snails, Thirty or forty yuan can buy a large box. Tempura, octopus balls, etc. are also semi-finished products, more than twenty or thirty yuan per catty, just take them out and fry them.”

  "Some people simply refresh their views! Some people see that Japanese food stores are profitable, and they have invested in opening stores, taking advantage of the fact that diners are unfamiliar with Japanese food ingredients, and it is difficult to distinguish between good and bad, so they use shoddy." Mr. He, who has been in the industry for many years, told reporters that the prices of different ingredients are very different.

In the past two years, he has also noticed that Japanese food stores have chaos in terms of ingredients. For example, low-grade tuna is used as high-end tuna, and farmed instead of wild.

On the procurement and wholesale platform, the cheap sweet shrimp farmed is 1 yuan per piece, and the salmon sashimi is 3 yuan per piece, but in fact, people in the industry can judge what kind of fish is from the color and fat level.

"For example, the tomatoes in the appetizers of high-end Japanese food are generally imported from Japan. These tomatoes are sweet but not greasy, and the price is very high. However, some Japanese food stores use ordinary tomatoes to sell imported prices, and the price is dozens of times different. Professionals can't taste it at all."

Internet celebrity brands enter Nanjing and need to increase supervision

  "Nanjing currently has more than 700 large and small Japanese food stores. For so many years, we have always adhered to our original intention and quality. Basically, the quality of Wagyu beef is the real standard. A3 is A3, and A5 is A5, but we have seen Japanese food stores in other places. There are some exposures, and there are many false labels." Qiu Guohong bluntly said that foreign Japanese food brands mostly enter in the form of Internet celebrity shops, such as Xiaojiujiang, Yixu Sukiyaki, etc. As these Internet celebrity brands enter Nanjing, many merchants I am also worried that they will disrupt the existing price system, brand layout and working atmosphere of the Nanjing Japanese material industry.

  In fact, there are not a few Internet celebrity Japanese restaurants that have overturned in recent years.

"Shanghai No. 1 Internet celebrity" Japanese hot pot buffet "Yixu Sukiyaki" restaurant falsely advertised, using flounder as cod, and was administratively fined 500,000 yuan.

"Helu Conveyor Sushi" uses ingredients that have expired, such as tofu, pork chops, etc. to make food, and recycles sushi and other food, peels off the sashimi in the middle, and remakes it into food to sell to customers.

"Ajisen Ramen" uses concentrated liquid to blend the noodle soup, which is inconsistent with the claim that the soup base is made from pork bones and various fish bones. The calcium content of a bowl of soup base is only 3% of the advertised.

  Regarding the false propaganda and shoddy acts of some Japanese food stores, the market supervision department stated that these acts violated the first paragraph of Article 8 of the "Anti-Unfair Competition Law": operators shall not False or misleading commercial propaganda, such as quality, sales status, user evaluation, and previous honors, deceive and mislead consumers.

Once verified, the market supervision department will deal with it seriously in accordance with the law.

  The Provincial Consumer Protection Committee believes that Japanese food is expensive, and ingredients are an important reason.

However, some unscrupulous merchants have been shoddy for a long time, which may constitute fraud to consumers.

In order to standardize the operation of Japanese food stores, the responsibility of operators must be consolidated first. Businesses should adhere to honest operation, reasonable prices, keep consumers' tongues safe, and actively accept the supervision of food supervision departments and consumers.

Consumers who eat fresh food should pay attention to food safety and epidemic prevention risks. Once they find any health problems, they can actively report to the market supervision department.

  Qiu Guohong hopes that, in addition to consolidating the responsibility of the operators, the market supervision department will increase the supervision of false propaganda, for example: regularly or irregularly conduct random inspections on the sources of raw materials of daily food stores, especially high-priced daily food, and announce them to the public in a timely manner result.

Institutions and departments with social credibility can also join in to establish a red and black list of Japanese food stores, which plays a role in warning businesses and reminding consumers.

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