At a new high-end Mos Classic in Tokyo’s Sendagaya district, a woman in her 30s who works nearby ate a pricey Avocado Burger.
“It’s delicious, with juice flowing out of the meat,” she said as she cut into the burger, which cost 1,150 yen with French fries, including tax. “It’s a little expensive for lunch, but it may be good for dinner.”
It poses a question whether fancy burger shops can take root in Japan and reinvent their images as fast-food chains, such as Mos Food Services Inc., the operator of the Mos Burger chain, which recently opened Mos Classic.
Mos Classic does not offer the chain’s regular items such as a Mos Burger (370 yen) on its menu. At night, it also serves a la carte dishes including dry-cured ham and mushrooms simmered in olive oil and garlic. Customers can drink wine and other alcoholic drinks under soft lighting in the establishment. The company plans to expand the operation to other urban areas including Osaka, Sendai and Fukuoka.
Freshness Co., another leading burger chain operator, introduced Crown House, the first outlet in its luxury line, in October in the Kichijoji district in western Tokyo. Served with egg, bacon and cheese, a Crown Burger is priced at 1,430 yen, excluding tax. Customers can also order alcohol.
U.S. burger restaurants also are opening their first outlets in Japan.
Every day, people wait in long lines to enter a Shake Shack outlet, which opened on Nov. 13 in the Jingu Gaien area. Shake Shack Inc. is particular about using Angus beef free of hormones and other ingredients for their menu items. A Shake Shack Burger is priced at 680 yen, excluding tax.
Apparel company Tomorrowland Co. opened a Bareburger outlet in the Jiyugaoka area in July. Its mainstay burger, which is popular in New York, is available at 1,680 yen, excluding tax. The company is planning to open a second outlet in the Ginza district in the spring.
(The Asahi Shimbun AJW)