Benihana Operations Case

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Module B: International operations management

Case: Benihana of Tokyo
Case Preparation:
1. 2. 3. 4.

5.

What are the differences between the Benihana production process and that of a typical restaurant? Examine the production system in detail. (Try and draw a simple process diagram). What are the major design choices which generate operating efficiencies? What is the process flow at Benihana? How many customers can the restaurant process and what is this as cash flow? What role does the cocktail lounge serve on a busy night? Comment on volume, variety, variability and visibility and how these impact potential profit.

Differences between Benihana and others
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Authenticity Preparation by performer (chef) Collect customers into groups in the bar Menu 
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Constrained Very American – no surprises



Higher volume means lower variety

Comparison of figures
Benihana Labor Food Beverage Rent Promotion Construction 10-12% 30-35% 20% 5-7% 8-10% Somewhat More (because of Japanese authenticity) Typical 30-35% 38-48% 25-30% 5-9% 0.75-2.0% Module B: Operations: Pilkington: 2013: 3

Benihana: Process Analysis

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4

Process Flow in the Restaurant
People Arrive Food Storage Food Preparation

Bar

Diners Seated

Orders Taken

Soup Served

Chef Arrives

Diners Eat

Pay Check

Exit Food Cooked Table Cleaned

Same flow as above, another table of 8

People Depart

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Process: How many customers?
Dining Area - 112 seats
It takes 60 minutes for one customer to eat dinner, and there are 112 seats in the dining area. Therefore 112 people eat every 60 minutes (throughput). On average a dinner cycle is completed every 60 minutes/112 people = 32 seconds per person (cycle time). We know that dinners are processed in batches of 8, so on the average a table of 8 finishes every 256 seconds (processing time).

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Cash flow


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$8,036 per day

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112 diners at $8 each (average lunch and diner) 112 drinkers at $2.25 (1.5 dinks each) Cash flow: $1,148 per hour For 7 hours a day (lunch and evening)

Role of the bar: batch and flow






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To send 8 people into the dining area every 256 seconds means that the bar must also process 112 customers an hour. Assumption: If they have 2 drinks and each one takes 12 minutes How many should the bar seat?

Role of the bar


The bar needs to empty every:


24/60 = 0.4 of an hour



This means it should seat:


112 x 0.4 = 44.8 people
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How many can sit in the bar shown on the diagram?

Summary


Operations management thinking applies not just to manufacturing    

Throughput Capacity Utilisation Variability
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Increased volume demands reduced variety Variability is enemy of throughput Banihana smooth the flow using the batching of customers at the bar

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