Benihana Operations Management Case Study
1- What are the differences between the Benihana production process and that of a typical restaurant?
2- Examine the production system in detail. What are the major design choices which generate operating efficiencies?
1) There are a variety of differences between Benihana’s production process and that of other restaurants. One of the major differences is the hibachi table arrangement giving an attentive service and reducing labour cost 10% to 20% of gross sales. Also, the food is cooked by chefs in front of the customers, reducing costs in a variety of ways. The floor space saved by not having a kitchen and needing less storage due to the lower number of different products offered means Benihana restaurants have an extra 8% of floor space which can be used to serve more customers in the form of the bar or tables. The bar contributes considerably to profit, which is why the size of the bar area in relation to the restaurant is notably larger than in many other restaurants.
The reduction in the variety of dishes offered, as well as reducing storage space, means that food wastage is significantly lower than that of other restaurants, leading to savings of around 30% on food costs in comparison. The managerial structure is simpler than those of other restaurants, typified by the fact the company is run by only three people at the top. Benihana’s does not do franchises any more, as some of the authentic feel of the restaurants is lost and the franchisees don’t always stick to the Benihana recipe for success.
2) Limited menu (steak, chicken and shrimp) – less storage space is required, cooking process is standardized, less food waste
Increased space using hibachi tables – more space for customers, bar or tables, added benefit that there is an element of entertainment and the food is freshly prepared in front of the customer
Customer can speak directly with the chef – orders are more...