Our suggestion to Benihana is to expand the target market and include a young generations as well as open new chain of family friendly restaurants. Gaining younger generations market could be accomplished by development of a mix of Japanese-Chinese quick cuisine restaurants/ food courts. Younger generation is very familiar with Chinese food, which is affordable, quick and tasty. Incorporating a Japanese twist to what is already widely accepted could be a refreshing idea and take a typical Chinese cuisine to another level. Merging both cultures’ cuisine together would help in gaining new customers, as the concept, the food would not be totally foreign and unfamiliar. Offering a delicious food that is quick, and affordable would be very appealing to the younger generation that is financially cautious and always on the run. Expanding the market and developing a family friendly chain would be another suggestion to grow and expand market share. It is a very “American” thing to dine with the family. As this type of restaurants is always in demand, going after this market could be another great Benihana success story. Marketing to young people should be especially important to Benihana, because converting a young person into a loyal customer means steady income for years down the road. Eventually, almost all restaurant marketing will happen online as the younger generation takes over the majority of the market and baby boomers retire. That means restaurants that get ahead of the curve today stand to obtain rewards in both the short and long term.
Base on the case, Benihana’s relationship with the customer is: Discrete transactions and no formal relationship between Benihana and its customers. It’s not continuous because does not operate 24/7 like radio or police protection).
Customization and Judgment in Service Delivery is high extent to which customer contact employees exercise judgment in meeting customers needs and high degree of customization. This is because since customer not only can choose different combinations of food but also how they want it to be done (steak medium, well, etc.)
Nature of demand for the service relative to capacity is: peak demand met without major delay and narrow extent of demand fluctuations over time. Food at Benihana is prepared quickly and it takes no more than 45-60 min for customers stay.
Method of service delivery at Benihana is: Customers travel to service firm and the availability of service outlets at multiple sites. Benihana has a couple of locations over United States.
Benihana, Inc., operates as one of the largest chains of Japanese restaurants in the United States.
The founder of Benihana, Inc., was a 25-year-old Olympic wrestler from Japan named Hiroaki Rocky Aoki. He got his start in the restaurant business by working after school in his family's coffee shop in downtown Tokyo. His mother named the family business Benihana after a red flower that was grooving next to the doors of family restaurant in Tokyo. He felt in love with New York when he came on a tour with his wrestling team. That fall he left Japan for the United States.
In 1964, Aoki graduated from New York Community College's School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. During the summer he earned money driving the only ice cream truck in Harlem. He managed to save $10,000 during the summer, and borrowed another $20,000, which was enough to start his first restaurant, Benihana of Tokyo.
Aoki's concept for his new restaurant, derived from specialty restaurants he knew of in Japan, was part entertainment and part foodservice (learning curve). He wanted to offer Americans food with which they were familiar, such as chicken, steak, and shrimp, prepared in a novel setting. He chose the teppanyaki table, a stainless steel grill surrounded by a wooden eating surface, where customers could watch a knife-wielding, joke-telling chef prepare and serve their food.
Within six months...
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