Benihana Case Study

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The Benihana simulation allows you to become the ultimate decision maker with many of the large aspects of the restaurant. The simulation forces you to think about the size of the bar and seating area, whether or not you will batch the patrons, how quickly you would like to get your patrons in and out of the restaurant, how much money you should spend on advertising and how to spend that money. I think this simulation was a great way to help one focus on how to optimize the factors involved in making a final decision and how each decision impacts the other.

The best strategy I came up with resulted in the highest total revenue, despite having a lower nightly profit than other options. This strategy batched the restaurant patrons in groups of eight from open to 7pm and 7pm to 8pm. From 8pm to 10:30pm, patrons were batched in groups of four to eight. This strategy helped keep customers in the bar longer in the earlier hours, resulting in increased drinks revenues. Not batching customers decreases the efficiency of the restaurant, thus decreasing overall revenues. Batching allows customers to take advantage of the bar while waiting for enough people to form a group of eight, increasing drink and overall revenues.

The next decision made was to determine the number of seats at the bar and the number of tables in the seating area. I decided to go with a bar that contained 71 seats and a seating area with 12 tables. This also encourages customers to experience the bar comfortably while waiting to be seated. This may also increase the likelihood of customers that only come to the restaurant to for the bar experience. To further increase drink revenue, I decided to spend 3x the advertising budget to have a Happy Hour period with a restaurant opening time of 5:00pm. It is widely known in the restaurant/bar industry that drinks have a large profit margin. By encouraging this Happy Hour period, the restaurant will experience excellent sales in both the...
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