Company Caught Serving Substitute Ingredients
Most of know Sega for their games. But in Japan, the brand and the mothership, Sega Sammy Holdings, are part of so much more. It’s usually good to diversify…that is, until something goes wrong.
This week, something did, and now company officials are apologizing to those affected by a classic bait-and-switch. According to a report from Kotaku, seventeen restaurants run by the Sega Entertainment division plus two more that are hybrid shopping and entertainment destinations substituted cheaper ingredients in customer meals without the customer’s knowledge, but still charged a higher price. It’s part of a larger scandal now plaguing the country’s food and hospitality industry.
Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft explains how it worked:
For example, at a couple of Sega Entertainment’s “Bee” darts and dining establishments, the menu listed “organic tomatoes.” However, the tomatoes served weren’t. At the Bee’s in Tokyo’s Ginza (pictured above and below), “diced beef steak” was actually beef injected with beef tallow. Others listed ingredients that were from Hokkaido, Japan. They actually came from abroad, which is usually cheaper than Japan’s pricey domestically-produced food.
A separate report from the UK newspaper The Guardian notes some 76,000 customers are believed to have been duped in the entire scandal, with Sega’s culpability only a drop in the bucket. Sega has issued a formal apology in Japanese and will issue meal vouchers to anyone affected that still has their receipt.