Benihana Case Study and Notes on Deep Change: How Operational Innovation Can Transform Your Company

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Case Study Component: Benihana of Tokyo
1. What are the differences between the Benihana production process and that of a typical restaurant? Benihana focuses on creating a dining experience that is not just about the food and service as most other restaurants do. Benihana emphasizes customer entertainment whereas when you eat at a typical restaurant you and your family, friend, or partner have to create your own entertainment. By using the hibachi table where chefs make the food right in front of you, Benihana puts on a show for their customers. The interior design and the vibe of the restaurant makes the entire experience feel authentic and special for the customers 2. How does Benihana seat the maximum number of customers? By designing the restaurant’s floorplan in a strategic way, Benihana is able to maximize the usage of each square foot. Benihana decided to take away employee space and use it to create more space for tables. This employee space includes creating an efficiently smaller kitchen as well as the employee pass-through, back room, and bathrooms. 3. How does peak-time differ from non-peak-time?

At non-peak time hours, customers are given more time and comfort to be able to enjoy their meals and dining experience at the restaurant. At the peak-time hours, Benihana employees focus very intensely on having quick table turnover to maximize the number of customers they can get. For peak-time hours usually customers are there for around 45 minutes whereas during non-peak time hours customers are usually there for around 90 minutes. 4. What is the role of “entertainment” in the restaurant? As mentioned before, Benihana places a great emphasis on entertainment unlike most other restaurants. When customers come to Benihana they are paying for the experience and for their entertainment value. Entertainment is central to Benihana’s business model because it is one of the biggest reasons for why customers come to their restaurant.

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