Japanese beef bowl chain Matsuya coming to Taiwan

Matsuya Foods Japanese Gyūdon restaurant chain coming to Taiwan

Matsuya Foods restaurant in Japan.

Matsuya Foods restaurant in Japan. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Matsuya Foods, a Japanese beef bowl restaurant chain, is coming to Taiwan, having gained approval from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), reported ETtoday.

Matsuya is what in Japan is known as a gyūdon (牛丼, restaurant chain), and will be joining its competitors Yoshinoya and Sukiya, which have already established a presence in Taiwan for many years. Gyūdon such as Matsuya are popular in Japan with foreign travelers because they are open 24 hours and can serve as a good spot for late night snacks and early breakfasts.

In 1987, Yoshinoya became the first gyūdon to enter Taiwan and thus is now marking its 31st year in the island nation.

As for Sukiya, the largest of Japan's gyūdon restaurant chains, it entered the Taiwan market in 2014 and has since expanded to 20 shops in the Greater Taipei area. It is still expanding with new branches in Keelung and Taoyuan coming online and a Taichung branch appears could be in the works as it is now recruiting staff in the city.

Matsuya restaurant in Akashi, Japan. (Wikimedia Commons)

Although Matsuya is the last of the three Japanese beef bowl chains to enter the Taiwan market, it is the favorite among Taiwanese netizens who travel to Japan. Matsuya is famous for the vending machines inside its stores which enable even non-Japanese speakers to order from the menu, as there are also English, Chinese and Korean versions.

Matsuya has recently been affected by a increase in the price of beef and rice and rising personnel costs. On April 3, prices for 12 items on the menu were raised by 10 to 50 Japanese yen on average, the largest price hike in four years.

The video below explains how to use vending machine in Matsuya to order food and shows many other the other unusual items found inside the restaurant.