A long-running feud for control of a Japanese provider of home-cooked meals has spilled out of the boardroom and into the kitchen.

Colowide Co., which owns multiple restaurant chains in Japan, is seeking to take control of Ootoya Holdings, a well-known operator of cheap and convenient eateries that serve what it describes as "mom’s food.” Having failed in an earlier bid to install its preferred slate of directors, Colowide earlier this month launched a tender offer aimed at boosting its share in Ootoya to a majority and give it control of the company.

Ootoya on Monday formalized its opposition to the offer, setting up a proxy fight for the future of the franchise at a time when the restaurant business in Japan, as in much of the world, is struggling to stay afloat due to the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants have had to cut back on hours, staffing and capacity to comply with social-distancing measures, eroding their profitability.