(Asahi Weeklyの)NEWS

【サンプル】U.S., domestic chains battle it out as burger war breaks out

1. Mos Classic’s Teriyaki Burger with French fries/2. A Shack Burger from Shake Shack/3. A Crown Burger with pickles and French fries from Crown House/4. A County Fair burger from Bareburger (Provided by Tomorrowland Co.)

 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.”

 Tokyo is turning into a fierce “burger wars” battleground, as new hamburger outlets pitch high-end burgers often costing more than 1,000 yen each.

 Many domestic companies have introduced outlets serving exclusive burgers, while popular U.S. burger chains made inroads with their first ever shops in Japan to add a little relish to the rivalry.

 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)

  • battle it out(見出しから)激戦を演じる、最後まで戦い抜く
  • break(s) out(見出しから)~が勃発する
  • high-end最高級の
  • French fry(-ies)フライドポテト
  • fierce激しい、熾烈 (しれつ) な
  • outlet(s)直売店、販売網
  • pitch~を売り込む、市場に出す
  • made(make) inroad(s)進出した、入り込んだ
  • relish風味、持ち味
  • fancy(米語で)高級な、豪華な
  • reinvent~を新たに考案する
  • dry-cured塩漬けの
  • (be) simmered in~で煮られた
  • free of hormone(s)ホルモン剤不使用の