business

Airlift to ease Japan french fry shortage

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The funny thing is that this sort of news is self-perpetuating.

As has happened with butter over the last two months, people will now be rushing to their nearest fast food chain in a mad scramble to by considerably more fries than they otherwise would — french fry hoarding. I saw the same thing happen with toilet paper and bread after the Tohoku earthquake.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

First world problems.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

First world problems.

You say that as if it were a bad thing.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

They could of course buy some potatoes and make some real chips.

20 ( +19 / -0 )

Just pray that no disaster hits Japan. No butter and no chips. What next ? Remember Fukushima ? Many stores in Osaka with empty shelves for weeks. Japan is not very self sufficient, is it ?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

If someone had sent this to me on e-mail, I would have thought it came from the Onion. A french fry shortage....like, "Must.... have ... french fries"? Make baked potatoes and move on.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

There seem to be plenty of potatoes in the supermarkets.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is what happens when you have family restaurants run by investment firms in other countries.I remember reports a couple years ago about how Mitt Romney owns a stake in the Gusto restaurants. It is odd that flying in pre-cut potatoes from the U.S. is considered more cost effective than hiring someone to scrub, peel, chop, fry, and season whole potatoes sourced locally. That said, I recently tried a new type of french fry, made from reformed mashed potatoes, and it just cannot match the crispness of the standard french fry.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Butter shortage, french fry shortage, effective leadership shortage, hope for the future shortage, where can Japan import 200 tons of good ideas to stop the 3,000 mph vertical dive into chaos that she is currently screaming into?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I remember reports a couple years ago about how Mitt Romney owns a stake in the Gusto restaurants. It is odd that flying in pre-cut potatoes from the U.S. is considered more cost effective than hiring someone to scrub, peel, chop, fry, and season whole potatoes sourced locally.

You can't blame Mitt Romney for the oddities of Japanese tariffs and the high-cost Japanese labor structure.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

seriously how much does the food industry in Japan pay the media to post this rubbish.. just goes to show that Japan needs a TPP more than ever.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

TPP

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The word "airlift" in the headline makes it sound like some kind of Soviet-era political crisis, when in fact Japanese diners are flexible enough to weather long import shortages, as evidenced by the ban on U.S. beef that lasted for years and didn't lead to the gyudon shops going out of business.

@Nessie, you have a point that Romney and Bain are not the structural reason. I was being facetious or flippant. But I can imagine Romney showing the unions who's the boss by flying his potatoes over the heads of the striking dockworkers.

"Bain had its busiest year in Asia in 2011, when it acquired Japanese restaurant operator Skylark Co. for $3.4 billion including debt, data compiled by Bloomberg show."

No idea if these places have potato or butter shortages, but here are the restaurants in Bain's Skylark group:

Gusto Gusto Steak Bamiyan Jonathans Yumean Gurache Gardens Pasta and Pizza Aiya Syabuyo Grand Buffet Festa Garden Papageno Buffet Grand China Blue Ex Buffet Tomato and Onion Jyu Jyu Karubi

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The two types of potatoes traditionally grown here (Danshaku and May Queen) are too small for making decent lengths. Try finding a large potato for baking anywhere round where I live. Besides, Danshaku turn soft and flaky when cooked.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In Canada yam or sweet potato fries are very popular.......and tasty. Maybe a good time to introduce this trend in Japan. http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_sweet_potato_fries_in_toronto/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Chips in abundance could be airlifted off the candidates shoulders as the electoral procees draws to its enviable conclusion.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No one thought about such things as frozen cut fries or butter a half year ago? December comes every year guys.

Is it another "inconceivable..." ? "Even though we had some preposterous reports from experts that we had hired for just such information, It was just beyond our imagination that we could run short on butter and frozen cut fries.... even less than the chance of volcanic eruptions or seismic movement under atomic power plants..... cut fries!"

This just proves the point: you can fool all the people, all the time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Windandsea, the occurrence and duration of the Long Beach dockworker's strike was unpredictable. The contract breakdowns started in May this year. Gusto owners Bain Capital couldn't predict the length of a labor strike.

I wonder what menu substitutions will be made if restaurants really run out of french fries. Something a bit healthier?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TPP (Tea Pee Pee) Funny!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Amount Per 1 serving medium (117 g) Calories 365

Total Fat 17 g 26%

Saturated fat 2.7 g 13%

Polyunsaturated fat 6 g

Monounsaturated fat 7 g

No thanks. We are dropping french fries and soft drinks to avoid obesity. Eating right food is a first step of life style change.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

nandakandamanda: The two types of potatoes traditionally grown here (Danshaku and May Queen) are too small for making decent lengths.

Russia's practically next door! They got lots of potatoes!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has a french fry shortage? Cry me a river.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

People who would have concern over not having of this fast-food like substance are really a few fries short of a happy meal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sad times Japan. Truly sad

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I thought Macdees make their own fries?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Japan french fry shortages"

Cleo: "There seem to be plenty of potatoes in the supermarkets"

Yeah, but it's too mendokusai for most people to cut 'em up and deep fry 'em, lol

By the way, the accompanying photo is seriously disgusting...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's no secret to it Japan, if you want chips all you need to do it cut up the potatoes. I manage alright.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ex_matelot, you mean peel and chop potatoes in the back of their restaurants? I highly doubt it.

Bain's Skylark will need to step up their game on this one. No fries is only one of their worries. I have a hard time picturing their chairman Ralph Alvarez going for meals at a Gusto Restaurant. He would leave before eating due to the wall of noise from the other diners, the low service standards meaning hunt down your own damn wet wipe napkins, the jostling with other customers to get a stab at the salad and curry rice bars, the unappetizing rolls, and many other issues. At least Gusto Steak has constant old-time country music playing and Texas flag decals to give it some exotic redneck roadhouse atmosphere.

Romney and Alvarez must eat at nicer restaurants owned and overseen by other people, places with good reputations and good food. Can we get Michelin to give us a score on any of the restaurants in the Skylark group?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mos Burger Fry's, most addictive chip narcotic openly sold on the high street, side affects, 12 chins, 10 belly, the 6 cheek backside. A prolonged deficit increases the likelihood of illegal back street dealing with all the negative social consequences, declare a state of emergency...think of the human cost.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@ex_matelot, you mean peel and chop potatoes in the back of their restaurants? I highly doubt it.

and all this time i thought ive been eating fresh ones? Oh No

There's no secret to it Japan, if you want chips all you need to do it cut up the potatoes. I manage alright

Yep right on that Elizabeth

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Harry_Gatto

They could of course buy some potatoes and make some real chips.

I was about to say the same thing ! (I usually - when I'm not too lazy) make my own...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Concerned citizens in Ireland are taking up a collection.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a sign of the beginning of end. Life as we know it unravels into the decline awaiting us, signaled by small signals. This is one of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get them B-59s flying over Tokyo and dropping butter bombs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

they don't have fries? give'em chips!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are they laying the groundwork for TPP?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yet another reason unions should be disbanded. Not because people can't eat fries, it's the multi billion dollar disruption, which will affect people who work at these places as Well as raise the prices on consumers, it cuts into money for shippers, exporters of the products and overall revenue part of which ends up as bonuses or pay raises. Also loss of tax revenue in both countries. All of these other people, negatively affected because greedy parasite union bosses want more for themselves

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@25years in Japan

Just pray that no disaster hits Japan. No butter and no chips. What next ? Remember Fukushima ? Many stores in Osaka with empty shelves for weeks. Japan is not very self sufficient, is it ?

I believe that Japan has one of the lowest self-sufficiency rates in the world - around 17%. Putting that in real-world terms, it has enough food supply to 2-3 weeks & oil / gas for 3 months - MAX. Who could forget the carnage after 3/11...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan is looking decidedly porkier over recent years. Even ten years back you barely saw anyone even slightly overweight, and now clothes sizes are bigger in the shops and there are growing numbers of overweight to obese people. A french fry shortage cannot hurt at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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