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Food & Beverage

Vending machines for frozen takeout take off in Japan

Shorter restaurant hours during COVID force shift in sales strategy

Yo-Kai Express debuted its vending machine for hot food in Tokyo during November. (Photo by Daiki Tsugane)

TOKYO -- Japanese restaurants that have shortened operating hours during the pandemic are relying increasingly on frozen food vending machines to make up for the lost traffic.

Over 1,000 such vending machines have been installed to serve customers after hours. Ringer Hut, the chain of noodle restaurants, is among the early adopters.

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