Yahoo Japan rolls out ‘deep-fried tax’ for employees


Just a week after the consumption tax hike went into effect, another “tax” has hit employees at Yahoo Japan Corp. — in particular those who love crispy and juicy food.

Calling it a “deep-fried food tax,” the levy that started Tuesday is intended to encourage workers at the internet giant to eat more healthily. To that end, Yahoo Japan has raised the price of deep-fried dishes served at its Tokyo headquarters’ cafeteria by ¥100. The revenue from the price hike is being used to give ¥150 discounts for broiled or simmered fish dishes.

Yahoo Japan said that based on data collected at the cafeteria for more than a year, many of its employees appear to be eating fatty food. According to the data, their lipid energy intake stands at about 30 percent, while the recommended level is 25 percent.

The company also says regular health checks have flagged that 45 percent of workers have high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

The findings were behind Yahoo Japan’s decision to offer discounts on fish dishes, since fish contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — omega-3 fatty acids that reduce LDL cholesterol.

A spokesman said the impact of the “tax” was already visible on its first day.

He said set meals with mackerel simmered in miso were sold out with 375 orders on Tuesday, compared to 128 when the dish was served last time.

In contrast, the chicken nanban (fried chicken with tartar sauce) saw only 275 orders — far fewer than the average of 480.

As a result of the adjustments the price of the chicken dish had been raised from ¥591 to ¥691, while that of the fish meal had been reduced from ¥693 to ¥543.

The spokesperson quoted an employee responsible for operations in the cafeteria as saying that the response seen on the first day had exceeded expectations.



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