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McDonald's Japan to charge same sales tax for eat-in, take-out, raise some prices

A McDonald's restaurant is seen in this file photo taken on June 11, 2019. (Mainichi/Yosei Kozano)

TOKYO -- McDonald's Japan announced on Sept. 10 that from October its tax-included prices will be the same regardless of whether a customer eats in or takes out, in response to changes in the consumption tax rates starting that month.

From October, the consumption tax will be raised from 8% to 10% for all food bought and consumed on the premises of a vendor. But food that is purchased to be eaten outside the premises will be sold at a reduced tax rate of 8%.

McDonald's has chosen to apply blanket tax-included pricing for its eat-in and take-out items. Around 30% of its products will see a price increase of 10 yen with tax included.

But the remaining roughly 70% of its goods will see their prices stay the same. The firm said that it would continue to display tax-included prices in increments of 10 yen, out of consideration for customers' convenience.

Among the prices of products set to go up by 10 yen include the hamburger, which currently costs 100 yen, and the cheeseburger, which now costs 130 yen. But other products like the Big Mac, 390 yen, and the five-piece Chicken McNuggets, 200 yen, have had their untaxed price tags for eat-in customers reduced to accommodate a tax-included cost that will see them pay unchanged prices at the same amount as those for take-out customers.

A PR representative for the company said, "We took into consideration the sales amounts for each of our products, and settled on a configuration where the overall pre-tax prices of our products would not go up."

Happy Meals, which come with a toy, will see their tax-included prices go up by 10 yen on all varieties except the chicken nugget version, as they are set to stay the same price. Although the toy is not among the items that come under the reduced tax rate, the company does not set a price for the individual toy units, and so the price of a Happy Meal will only be affected by the food contents inside.

Japan's major dining chains are taking a range of responses to the consumption tax hike. Companies including rice bowl eatery firm Matsuya Foods Co. and Italian chain Saizeriya Co. are keeping their prices the same and issuing a blanket tax-included price.

But other companies such as fast food chain Yoshinoya Co. and Mos Burger owner Mos Food Services Inc. will be applying the differing 8% or 10% rates of tax to their products.

(Japanese original by Atsuko Motohashi, Business News Department)

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