[CBC뉴스] 요코하마에있는 중고 주방 장비 판매점의 창고를 살펴보면 중고 냉장고, 제빙기, 오븐 및 스토브로 가득 찬 공간이 보인다. 이는 올해 코로나 19의 영향으로 일본에서 많은 식당이 문을 닫았음을 반영하고 있다.
주방 장비 공급 업체 "Tenpos Busters"의 직원은 팬데믹 기간 동안 일부 근로자와 달리 바쁜 한 해를 보냈으며 중고 주방 장비와 가구를 수리하여 재판매했다.
A walk through the warehouse of a second-hand kitchen equipment dealer in Yokohama shows a space overstocked with used refrigerators, ice machines, ovens and stovetops, reflecting the many restaurant closures this year in Japan due to the impact of COVID-19.
Staff at kitchen equipment supplier "Tenpos Busters" have been having a busy year in contrast to some workers during the pandemic, picking up and refurbishing used-kitchen equipment and furniture for resale.
"We are buying more kitchen items, so our centres for maintenance across the country are operating at a full capacity to clean and repair them," Takahito Tooyama, sales division director at Tenpos Busters told Reuters.
When Reuters visited recently, a truck full of used kitchen equipment collected from folded restaurants arrived and workers began unloading a kitchen sink and left it outside of the warehouse due to space constraint.
According to Tooyama, the number of equipment they buy from restaurants have more than doubled compared to last year.
Former ramen noodle shop owner Yashiro Haga is one of the sellers who sold his kitchen goods to the company.
After 15 years fronting the "Shirohachi" ramen shop in a business district in Tokyo, he was forced to close and to sell off his chairs, cooking pots, and ramen bowls.
Haga, looking somber, stood in his kitchen looking at the empty counter after the firm collected his furniture. "Now that my stuff are gone and the shop is bare empty, it makes me sad," he said.
Haga earned a total of about 16,000 yen ($165) from selling his kitchen goods, which will be cleaned up at a maintenance centre to hit shelves.
According to Japanese credit research firm "Teikoku Databank", 800 businesses in Japan devastated by the coronavirus pandemic have gone bankrupt from February to mid-December. Restaurant and bar industry were the hardest hit, with 126 companies going under.
Business Analyst Shogo Maruyama said restaurants continue to face hardships as social distancing measures continues.
"The number of customers they can serve is less than before. Therefore, if the average spending per customer doesn't change, sales will decline. I think that's one aspect hitting restaurants," he said.
Maruyama suggested restaurants should now consider diversifying their businesses, such as opening outlets modelled for the suburbs as metropolis Tokyo sees less commuters due to people working from home.
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