J-CAST that the “free morning” and “all-you-can-use towels” services provided by the Internet café “Kaikatsu CLUB” ended in about 100 stores from February to September 2022. I learned about this through news coverage .
Why are popular services with users ending one after another? I asked the company why.
KAIKATSU CLUB shop (Tokyo)
“Free morning all you can eat”. Now I can only eat bread. (From the official website of the Kaikatsu CLUB)
In February it was said that “the end will be in some shops”, but …
Kaikatsu Club, a subsidiary of AOKI Holdings, is a café complex where you can enjoy the internet and manga in private rooms. With 502 stores nationwide (as of 4 October 2010), it is the largest in the industry. In April 2009, it opened its first store in Kochi Prefecture and has expanded into 47 prefectures nationwide.
Due to the effects of the temporary closures and refraining from exiting due to the declaration of a state of emergency during the crown crisis, the company recorded an operating loss of 3,732 million yen in the fiscal year ending March 2021 (including the data of fitness fitness “FiT24”). Even so, corporate performance is picking up and operating income for the fiscal year ended March 2023 is expected to be 1.95 billion yen, which is close to the pre-COVID-19 fiscal year (the fiscal year ended as of March 2019). . In the first quarter of the same year, the operating profit has already surpassed that of the same period of 2019, indicating that it is doing well.
One of the strengths of Kaikatsu CLUB is its wide range of services. Users can eat all-you-can-eat soft-serve ice cream and soft drinks at will. There are shops that offer unlimited bread and fries for a “free breakfast”, shops that offer free showers, and shops that offer unlimited use of towels.
However, on February 1, 2010, free morning potatoes were suspended in all stores due to the delay in importing raw materials from North America. Around the same time, a post was circulating on Twitter that some stores were discontinuing the “Free Morning” and “Unlimited Use of Towels” services.
On February 9, when J-CAST News interviewed the PR firm of KAIKATSU FRONTIER (Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama), they explained that the free morning and all-you-can-use towels will end up in “some stores”. The reason for this is the lack of staff in the stores and the free morning service will end in 18 stores and all-you-can-use towels in 20 stores. He also replied: “Right now he is undecided to reflect this in all the shops.”
As of February 9, 478 stores offer free breakfast and 335 stores offer unlimited use of towels. However, as of October 4, 373 stores offer free breakfast and 233 stores offer unlimited use of towels. Over the past eight months, the number of participating stores has decreased by over 100 stores.
High prices affect directly … Responsible “sorry”
On October 4, 2010, a spokesperson for Kaikatsu Frontier told J-CAST News that from February to September, the “Free Morning” and “All-you-can-use towels” services will end up in more than 100 stores each. I was
Why on earth has the implementation shop gone down so much? The manager said the reason for the end of the free breakfast was “cost pressure” such as raw material costs and distribution costs. According to the manager, the free mornings will end in 15 stores on September 30th. The following posters were posted at the point of sale.
“As raw material costs and distribution costs continue to rise, we have worked hard to take countermeasures, but it has become difficult to continue the morning off and we have no choice but to end it all.”
As for the future free morning policy, “(as for the high cost), there is room to consider (by resuming the service) whether there will be an improvement in the future, but if (the situation) gets tight, we will go a a little further and increase the number of discontinued stores. I have to think about it, “he said, judging by the situation.
Furthermore, even in stores that continue to implement free breakfast, the potato service, which has been suspended since February, is unlikely to resume due to high costs. According to the manager, it is difficult to continue the free potato service in order to keep the system operating around the clock, which is expensive to run due to the surge in prices, given that the average customer spend in the Internet cafe business is 1,300 to 1,500 yen. ” He explains.
On the other hand, regarding the end of “all-you-can-use towels”, he explained that the impact on labor costs and the increase in electricity bills was great because the towels were washed. by the store staff, not by a salesperson. Future policy will be determined by looking at the situation as for the free morning.
The manager said: “I’m sorry” for the end of the series of services, “I know there are many customers who have high expectations (for the service)”, but the impact of the cost increase is significant, and this decision it is “an inevitable answer”.