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The nation’s largest operator of restaurants serving “gyudon” — rice topped with seasoned beef — said Wednesday it cut the price of its regular-size gyudon to 280 yen from 400 yen at its eastern Japan outlets, a price matched the same day by one of its rivals.

Yoshinoya D&C Co. said it cut the price at 424 outlets in eastern Japan after a similar cut at 365 outlets in western Japan on July 26.

The same day, Nakau Co., a rival gyudon chain operator, said it slashed the price of its regular-size gyudon to 280 yen from 400 yen.

The move is the latest in a series of price cuts among gyudon chain operators struggling to attract consumers looking for lower prices amid an economic slump.

On July 31, Kobe Lamp Tei Inc., a gyudon chain operator belonging to the Daiei group, set the price of its regular-size gyudon at 270 yen, the lowest price in the industry.

Matsuya Foods Co. cut the price of its regular-size gyudon to 290 yen last September, while Zensho Inc., which operates the Sukiya chain, began selling gyudon at 280 yen in March.

Yoshinoya said that in the six days following the price cut in western Japan, the number of customers grew 2.5 times. and sales rose 1.75 times compared to the same period the year before.

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