• Bloomberg

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Mos Food Services Inc., Japan’s second-largest hamburger chain, may open 200 stores in China in the next five years, betting its rice burgers may be better suited to local tastes than offerings from McDonald’s Corp.

“We want our rice burgers to be our main menu offering because they’re particularly popular among the Chinese,” President Atsushi Sakurada said in a recent interview in Tokyo, referring to the success of the chain in Taiwan. “It’s possible to open about 200” outlets in eastern China.

Mos Food, which offers rice burgers that use grilled rice patties instead of buns, tailors its menu to suit local preferences with its Taiwan restaurants selling ginger-pork and fried seafood burgers. The Tokyo-based chain is trying to cultivate new markets to turn around sales that are forecast to decline for a second straight year amid stagnant wages and an aging population.

Mos Food aims to boost the number of Mos Burger restaurants abroad to 1,000 in the next 10 years from about 210 today, Sakurada said. It plans to enter South Korea and Malaysia in the year beginning April 1 and may open stores in Europe, North America and Australia, he said.

The chain is re-entering mainland China after its previous Chinese partner’s bankruptcy forced it to exit in 1997.

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