...restaurant with $10,000 earned from driving an ice cream truck in Harlem. The first restaurant, Benihana of Tokyo, was named for the red Safflower that was the name for the coffee shop owned by his parents in Tokyo.
Aoki's concept was for the meals to be theatrically prepared by a knife-wielding, joke-telling chef at a teppanyaki table surrounded by a wooden eating surface in front of the guests (Teppan meaning "steel grill" or "griddle" and yaki meaning "grilled" or "broiled"). It initially did not do well until early 1965 when Clementine Paddleford of the New York Herald Tribune gave it a rave review. The Beatles and Muhammad Ali were among the celebrities who then descended on the four-table restaurant.
Within a year Aoki opened a bigger restaurant that featured Samurai armour, heavy wooden ceiling beams and sliding Shoji screens to provide some privacy.
In 1968 it opened its first restaurant outside of New York City in Chicago.
Aoki brought in consultant Hardwicke Companies (its founder Charles H. Stein was the original developer of Six Flags Great Adventure and also operated various New York restaurants including Tavern on the Green) as a partner to run the company in 1976. Aoki terminated the relationship in 1980 and settled a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint of insider trading of Hardwicke stock.
The famous Benihana "Tiki Mug" has become collectible.
In 1982 Benihana National Corporation went public with Joel...
REV: JULY 20, 2004
W. EARL SASSER
Benihana of Tokyo
Some restaurateurs like myself have more fun than others, says Hiroaki (Rocky) Aoki, youthful president of Benihana of Tokyo. Between 1964, when he opened his first location, and 1972 he had gone from deficit net worth to being president of a chain of 15 restaurants that grossed over $12 million per year.
By 1972 Benihana was basically a steakhouse with a difference--the food was cooked in front of the customer by Japanese chefs, and the decor was that of an authentically detailed Japanese country inn. From a humble 40-seat unit opened in midtown Manhattan in 1964, Benihana had grown to a chain of 15 units across the country. Nine were company-owned locations: New York (3); San Francisco; Chicago; Encino and Marina del Rey, California; Portland, Oregon; and Honolulu. Five were franchised: Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Beverly Hills, Seattle, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The last unit, Las Vegas, was operated as a joint venture with Hilton Hotels Corporation. Rocky, who was a former Olympic wrestler, described his success as follows: In 1959, I came to the United States on a tour with my university wrestling team. I was 20 at the time. When I reached New York, it was love at first sight! I was convinced that there were more opportunities for me in America than Japan. I decided to enroll in the School of Restaurant Management at City...
... Benihana of Tokyo
“Benihana of Tokyo”
Analysis of Benihana of Tokyo reflects that the company should take the following actions to help improve its future and growth as a company.
Don’t expand to fast
Start by expanding to secondary markets such as Harrisburg Pennsylvania, and Portland, Oregon.
Secondly, expand to hotels.
Advertising should mainly focus on the experience that the costumers will have at Benihana.
Expand its target market from a middle-income audience to a bigger market including the younger generation.
Hiroaki (Rocky) Aoki is the youthful president of Benihana of Tokyo. Benihana is a steakhouse with the food cooked right in front of the customer by Japanese chefs. Benihana, a restaurant, needs a set plan for growth and expansion in their company, so that it does not allow other competitors to get ahead of them in the market. It needs to focus on advertising and expanding their target market. Benihana needs to reach out to a wider target market so that it may expand at a faster pace without causing a disruption in the flow of their operations.
Analysis of Benihana of Tokyo
The Service Benihana provides is not just serving food, but also entertainment. Benihana is a steakhouse with food that is cooked in front of the customer by Japanese chefs. The...
Benihana of tokyo wac analysis:
The case benihana of Tokyo was simply about how to expand the business. Benihana is a service restaurant chain providing only minimal menu. The issue identified was they were unable to make a decision that how would they expand their business. They have some options waiting but its hard to make a strategy. It is a very difficult to expand a service nature of business because in service type of business everyone thinks he is a expert due to his practical observation. Another problem that one has to face in service is that the service is peculiar to each customer and that is what is extremely unfortunate. Another issue is that they are not targeting youth which has restricted them to larger markets and is not allowing them to expand in smaller markets.
Basically benihana is contributing to bring Japanese culture to America. It’s a steakhouse with a small menu with all its arrangements and decoration is depicting the Japanese culture. It was a concept brought by analysis of rocky who analyzed that American enjoy eating at exotic places so benihana is playing a role to bring a new unique culture by combining Japanese culture with a American touch. Their sitting plan was also unique as it was a hibachi concept in which food is cooked in front of the customers.
Benihana concept was to keep the menu limited that will result in reducing the food and waste...
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...with the hibachi table arrangement, Benihana of Tokyo can give an unusual amount of attentive service and keep labor cost to 10%-12% of gross sales (that of typical service restraint is 34%-42%). Eliminating the conventional kitchen also increased the floor availability. Only about 22% of the total space of a unit is back of the house, including preparation areas, dry and refrigerated storage, employee dressing rooms, and office space. Normally, a restaurant requires 30% of its total space as back of the house.
In addition, efficient use of space decreases rent. Because of the importance of lunchtime business, Benihana had one basic criterion for site selection – high traffic. Most units are located in a predominantly business district, but rent normally runs 5%-7% of sales for 5,000-6,000 square feet of floor space. Rent of typical service restaurant is between 4.5%-9% of sales.
Simple menu decreases food costs
Reducing the menu to only three simple Middle American entrees - steak, chicken, and shrimp – was able to decrease waste and cut food costs to between 30% and 35% of food sales. Normal food costs are between 38% and 48%.
Simple management saves management costs
By carrying a simple management structure of each restaurant, it maintains management costs at 4% of gross sales. Normal management costs are between 2% and 6%. It had a manager, an assistant manager, and two or three front manager.
Bar/lounge area made money...
...Benihana of Tokyo
Benihana is a steakhouse with food cooked in front of the customers by Japanese chefs and the decorated in an authentic Japanese setting.
Operation advantages: Benihana has several operation advantages: firstly, by eliminating the need for a conventional kitchen with hibachi table arrangement, the restaurant keep labor cost low while providing attentive service. Secondly, the dining space was increased. Thirdly, by reducing the menu to three simple Middle American entrees, the restaurant solved the problem of food storage and wastage.
Introduction: Benihana now has a chain of 15 units across the country. Nine were company-owned and five were franchised. The decision to stop franchising was made because franchise investors are novice and they have problems relate to native Japanese staff. It is also more difficult to maintain control over the franchisee.
Sales and training: Benihana also included the bar/lounge in the restaurant. The beverage sales accounts for 30%-33% in the Benihana East. Benihana choose business location with high traffic. There are around 30 orient employees in each unit. Benihana took a paternal attitude toward all its employees which results in a low turnover rate of staff.
Advertising policy: Rocky consider creative advertising and public relations vital to the success of business. They invested 8%-10% of gross...
...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...