What is the Benihana concept?
Founded in 1964 by Rocky Aoki in New York City, Benihana has grown to be an extraordinarily successful international dining enterprise. It’s concept offers its customer an authentic Japanese dining experience which is conducted via a communal dining table. The experience is enhanced due to their unique food delivery and entertaining chef assigned to the table. It offers a simple and limited “Middle America” which includes steak, chicken, and shrimp entrees.
Is Benihana a Successful Operation? How Successful?
Benihana is most definitely a successful operation for a few reasons. Firstly the intrinsic efficiencies behind its concept have proven itself when compared to other restaurants. The hibachi table arrangement which eliminated the need for a conventional kitchen, allowed Benihana to offer an unusual amount of attentive service and keep labor costs to 10-12% of gross food sales as opposed to the average restaurant (30%-35%). It also created 8% more actual production area (22% as opposed to the average 30%).
It’s simple menu which include steak, chicken, and shrimp and combinations there of, cut food costs between 30% 35% of food sales (depending on the price of meat). Compare this to the average restaurant whose cost of food is anywhere between 38%-48%. The limited menu also promotes minimized flowtime and inventory.
Benihana’s highly motivated and trained staff are a visible success of Benihana’s company culture. Americans are looking for an authentic experience and Benihana’s chefs are it. Benihana goes through great strain to thoroughly train them by requiring them to complete a 3 year apprenticeship in addition to three- to six-month course in Japan in the English language and American manners as well as the Benihana form of cooking. In addition to Benihana’s commitment to training its chefs, its blended culture offered these young employees the ability to rise in rank without the cultures barriers that exist in...