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Yoshinoya, slinger of beef bowls, leads Japan in productivity

Self-service push contributes to 50-fold gain in profit per full-timer

A worker at beef bowl chain Yoshinoya. (Photo by Ryosuke Eguchi)

TOKYO -- Beef bowl purveyor Yoshinoya Holdings saw profit per worker grow faster than any other nonmanufacturer in Japan in the first half of fiscal 2019, leading a trend of revenue growth and efficiency improvements outweighing rising wages in a tight labor market.

Yoshinoya's operating profit per full-time employee came to 668,000 yen ($6,135) for the six months through August -- 50.7 times the figure a year earlier -- on the runaway success of its new supersize beef bowls. For all employees, including part-timers, the figure jumped 51.9-fold to 133,000 yen.

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