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West Japan diner Joyfull to close 200 struggling outlets amid coronavirus outbreak

A Joyfull sign is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Hiroko Esashi)

FUKUOKA -- Japanese restaurant operator Joyfull announced on June 8 that it will close some 200 unprofitable outlets starting in July, due to plunging customer numbers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The company, based in the southwestern Japan city of Oita, was operating 713 diners in the Kyushu region and other areas as of June 8. Following the viral outbreak in Japan, its sales more than halved in April and May compared to the same months last year. The firm plans to release an earnings estimate after calculating the effects of the downsizing.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit major restaurant chains hard. Another major diner operator Royal Holdings Co. will close down about 70 outlets including Royal Host restaurants by the end of 2021, while izakaya restaurant operator Watami Co., and Kappa Sushi conveyor belt sushi bar chain operator Colowide Co., have both announced plans to fold unprofitable establishments.

(Japanese original by Yoshihito Asano, Kyushu News Department)

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