Benihana focuses on creating a dining experience that emphasizes customer entertainment and is not just about the food and service as most other restaurants do. Benihana is facing problems with expanding their business because of poor customer management, company management and competition management.
Problem Definition and Analysis
We are going to see how the operations management of Benihana of Tokyo is doing in terms of 1) Customer management
2) Company management
i) Capacity Management
ii) Human resource
iii) Process management
v) Quality (output)
3) Competition Management.
1) Customer Management
* Place restaurant in high traffic areas so as to ease accessibility to customers which is good. There is high traffic in the lunch time but the lead time of 45 minutes to one hour thirty minutes is too much. * The advertisements are done in the wrong places like in wrong journals like the newyork times, women’s wear daily. Poor location for sponsorship of wrong events like the promotion of heavyweight boxing match in Japan instead of USA where their customers are located. * The quality of the food is reflected in the pricing.
* They have a problem attracting female customers who intend could influence the attraction of young customers.
2) Company management
* The construction of the restaurants is made 100% authentic Janpanese which is not very necessary especially in the back office (kitchen room). The custom materials are expensive and are imported from Japan. This costs money and time.
* The use of two Japanese Carpenters team restricts construction time to 2.4 months per unit.
* Unused space in the construction of the restaurant which results in higher rental costs. ii) Human Resource management.
* Training of chefs for 3 years in Japan is expensive and time consuming, implying if one needs to expand one has to consider the training of chefs for the new units for three years, and training in English and American manners for six months. * The post of restaurant manager is not open to the chefs. One can notice that the chefs are first of all attracted to America because of the prospects of growth. However these prospects of growth is limited only to the role of chief chef . * The bonus system of exceeding the unit’s quota on any basis is costly, since variations on a daily basis will result in the company paying bonuses for units that did not exceed their monthly quotas. * iii) Process management
* Construction of units
The construction process starts by disassembling old houses in Japan to get building materials. The building materials, walls, ceilings, beams, artifacts and decorative lights are all imported from Japan. Two crews of Japanese carpenters are hired to construct the unit. They have the expertise because they can construct custom Japanese buildings. The construction takes 2.4 months to complete a unit. There is so much time used which could have been eliminated if a mixture of local items and authentic Japanese items were used. If local items are used as well we will reduce time by reducing the number of houses disassembled in Japan, the time of shipment and reduce the time of construction (since local carpenters could be involved in the sections of the units that are not custom.) * Service Time
The customer visits the restaurant, the front man ushers him to a seat, front man takes his order. The chef is told of the customers order by the front man, the chef comes to the teppanyaki table with the raw food. The chef starts to cook the meal and displays. The customer is served cooked food, pays his bill to the front man and leaves. This takes a minimum of approximately 45 minutes and can get to one hour thirty minutes. The service time is too long. * Staff Training
Japanese bachelors are trained for 3 years to become chefs and later...
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