J-News: Major Chain Restaurants Issue Joint-Coupon to Counter “Middle Meals”

This is going to be my first news article breakdown, inspired by another blogger that I follow. My hope is that this will motivate me to read the news, while simultaneously expanding my vocabulary and grammar comprehension.

Screenshot 2018-09-02 at 6.57.24 PM

Today’s article, titled 外食大手が共通の割引クーポン発行 中食に対抗,
was actually published by NHK News on August 24, 2018 and can be found at this link.

3 major chain restaurants, Yoshinoya (beef-bowls), Hanamaru (udon), and Gasto (family restaurant), decided to join forces to counter their common competitor- “middle meal” manufacturers. These so-called “middle meals” (literally 中食 in Japanese) include convenience store bento boxes and common side-items that can be bought in supermarkets. I can personally understand why these companies would be affected by the sale of these items because I buy bento boxes, onigiri, and supermarket side items all the time because I can take it home to eat later, whereas if I go to Yoshinoya, I’m going to have to finish my food right then and there. Also, who doesn’t love a good bento??

Anyway, these coupons offer great deals at each restaurant and by the time the deal has ended, if you’ve used any of the three restaurants at least 3 or 4 times, you’ll have made up for what you spent eating there! The coupons work like this; for ever 300 yen spent on an item, you can redeem:

  • A 100 yen-off coupon at Gasuto
  • 80 yen-off 1 meal at Yoshinoya
  • 1 free tempura item and Hanamaru

These coupons are being advertised on the homepage of the restaurants websites and the deal is set to last from September 10, 2018 until October 21, 2018. The president of Yoshinoya mentions that competition in the industry is still tough and that this new effort was not about wearing down competition by attrition (a new English word for me!), but rather the goal was to attract new customers.

Screenshot 2018-09-02 at 2.55.14 PM.pngKey Vocabulary

  1. 外食大手 Major restaurant
  2. 企業 Corporation, enterprise
  3. 対抗する To oppose
  4. 手を組む To join hands
  5. 元を取れる To recover a cost, to get one’s money’s worth
  6. 個別 Separate, individual case
  7. 強化する Strengthening, enhancement
  8. 導入 Leading in, bringing in
  9. 獲得 Acquisition
  10. 取り巻くTo surround, to be enclosed
  11. 消耗戦をしている To commit attrition


  1. 外食大手が共通の割引クーポン発行 中食に対抗 Major Chain Restaurants Issue Joint-Coupon to Counter “Middle Meals”
  2. 企業の枠を越えて共通の割引クーポンを発行します。(The companies) will issue a common coupon that can be redeemed at any of the three.
  3. コンビニの弁当などいわゆる「中食」の拡大に対抗するため、ライバルどうしが手を組むことになりました。In order to compete against the rising demand for convenience store items, such as bento boxes and what’s being referred to as “middle meals”, the rival companies joined forces.
  4. およそ1か月半の期間中にこれらの店舗を3回から4回利用すれば、元を取れる計算です。Within around 1 ½ months,  if you’ve dined at the locations at least 3-4 times, you can gain a full return on the money spent at the locations.
  5. 今回連携する3つの外食チェーンでは、共通クーポンの導入によってお互いの店を利用しやすい仕組みをつくり、新たな客の獲得や常連客の利用をさらに増やしたい狙いがあります。 By collaborating together this time to make the common coupon, the companies mades dining at each other’s restaurant more appealing, and they aim to gain new customers increase purchases from regular customers.  
  6. 吉野家の河村泰貴社長は「外食を取り巻く環境が厳しくなる中、外食企業どうしで消耗戦をしている場合ではない。今回の取り組みで新しい客層を獲得したい」と話しています。Yasutaka Kawamura, president of the beef-bowl chain Yoshinoya, stated that “While the environment for dine-out companies is becoming tougher, this is not about wearing down competition by means of warfare. This is about acquiring a new customer base.”  


  1. Vするため In order for V to occur, ____ happened or must happen.

Issues I had while reading:

I had honestly never heard of 中食 (ちゅうじき) before and I was translating it to mean “lunch”… which made translating extremely confusing. Thank goodness for good ol’ (barely) trusty Google Translate! Essentially 



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