YOKOHAMA (JAPAN) – With closure of restaurants due to COVID, kitchen equipments are piling up in warehouses in Japan.
“We are buying more items, so our centres for maintenance across the country are operating at a full capacity to clean and repair them,” says Takahito Tooyama, sales division director at Tenpos Busters, a second-hand kitchen equipment supplier. The company has been purchasing double the amount of equipments, compares to last year.
Yashiro Haga, a former ramen noodle shop owner who sold his kitchen goods to the company says “Now that my stuff is gone and the shop is bare, it makes me sad.” The firm picked up his chairs, cooking pots and ramen bowls five days after he closed his 15-year-old ramen shop, Shirohachi, in a Tokyo business district. Haga pocketed around 16,000 yen ($165) from selling his kitchen goods, which will be cleaned at a maintenance centre before being resold.
According to credit research firm Teikoku Databank around 800 Japanese businesses have gone bankrupt from February to mid-December, because of the pandemic. Restaurants and bars were the hardest-hit, with 126 companies shutting shop.