Ramen restaurant in Chiba offers lifetime's free ramen for a one-time flat fee of 100,000 yen

Ramen is a beloved Japanese dish. (Photo: Getty Images)

With the coronavirus situation, many businesses are struggling to survive, especially those without any online shop or subscription service. Even more so for the food industry – less foot traffic translates to less income which cannot be compensated for by food delivery alone. But for a particular ramen chain in Japan called Musashiya, their Nishi Chiba branch in Chiba city has come up with a novel way to generate a spike in income: rewarding their loyal customers with a lifetime’s supply of free ramen for a one-time flat fee of 100,000 yen (about S$1300).

Musashiya’s regular bowl of ramen — its cheapest item without additional toppings — costs 600 yen (about S$8). This means that if you eat the ramen once a week, you would take only slightly more than three years to break even. Sounds too good to be true? That is because this promotion is limited to only college students.

The restaurant’s Twitter post says, “Free of charge until graduation. Free of charge even after graduation.”

Musashiya added, “The moment you purchase this, your food costs may be reduced to zero for the rest of your life.”

Amazingly, two fans of the restaurant have actually forked out the 100,000 yen for the tempting offer — a third-year student and a fourth-year student. Musashiya is looking at getting 98 more customers on the scheme.

While this offer might have seemed enticing for working adults with stable income, it may be less than affordable for students. But for avid ramen fans who may eat the delicious noodles three times a week, the breakeven point would have shortened to slightly more than a year!

Although the general response seems pretty good, others gave interesting points of view. One netizen said, “If you eat this every day, you’ll die early, so it’s safe for Musashiya.”

Another commented, “Looks like you’ll get diabetes before 30.”

Another pointed out that it is likely Musashiya did this promotion because the students tend to not remain in Chiba city (about 40 minutes car ride from Tokyo city) after graduation.

Musashiya has clarified that this promotion only applies to their ramen with no additional toppings, Uramusa specialty ramen and time-limited ramen. Rice can be added for free too. They also said the promotion is targeted at their regulars, whose faces will serve as the identification for free ramen.