Benihana of Tokyo Case Solution Possible Alternatives to Identified Issues Based on the above identified issues, the management of Benihana has several alternatives that might be able to reduce these issues to minimum level however,it should be noted that these alternatives do not produce the most desirable result for the management. Following are the available alternatives to the company to resolve the identified issues; Hired Trained Staff fromUS The management could hire experienced and trained staff from within the United States as this will further reduce the labor expenses for the company while the continuing training programs of the company will allow the new hires to learn cooking in the Benihana style. Hence, thiswill allow the company to grow quickly without the need for paying excessive amounts to chefs. Train Amateur Chefs The company could also hire amateur chefs and provide them with apprenticeship under experienced chefs. This will provide the young chefs to groom and become professional chefs,whereas Benihana will be able to produce high quality chefs on their own and can fulfill their staff requirement easily.
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He got himself enrolled in the school of restaurant management at New York City College, thinking that he would never go hungry in the restaurant business.
He did a systematic analysis of US restaurant market and discovered that although American enjoyed eating in exotic surrounding but were deeply mistrustful towards exotic foods. He also learned that the American enjoyed watching their food being prepared. These learning helped Rocky to open up his first unit of Figure 2: Benihana founder Hiroaki Benihana by The major problem that Rocky addressed "Rocky" Aoki from the analysis was the shortage of skilled labor which he eliminated with the Hibachi table arrangement, which required only the chef as a skilled person.
The instant success of the first unit helped Rocky to open six franchises within the next seven years soon after which he realized that the franchise owners were investors and had no restaurant experience which made it even more difficult for them to relate to a native Japanese staff. Benihana sells: Food and beverages Types of food served: Steak, chicken and shrimp Target customers: Business person, tourist visitors, white collars Site selection: Target high traffic area Benihana restaurants adopted well defined and accurate methods during site selection and training of chefs which helped them reduced the average dinner turnover time.
Apart from this each restaurant had a simply management structure which allowed all the managers to report to the operation manager, Allen Saito who in turn reported to Bill Susha Vice President which made it easier for the top management to control the company.
All this along with the unique combination of Japanese paternalism in an American setting made the Benihana model difficult to replicate but there were certain problems that the management was facing during the future expansion plans.
According to Bill Susha Vice President the company could limit to opening only 5 units a year because that was as fast as the two crews of Japanese carpenter could work. Furthermore they had the constraints of the staff and the cost factor which confined them to open there units in major cities.
There were other issues which had to be addressed for example importing every item from Japan used in construction of a unit and using Japanese carpenters. Considering all these advantages and disadvantages into account the company had three principal areas for growth: The United States, overseas and Japan. With the idea of going public someday the company had moved into joint-ventures in Mexico and overseas for the meantime.
The future plans also include targeting younger generations and introducing a combination of Chinese and Japanese operations and expand the Benihana experience in various other domains such as Renoir exhibitions and model agencies etc. Minimum wastage: As the menu was simple and limited so, the food wastage was reduced. Japanese interior: Authentic Japanese atmosphere 3. Training- skilled labour: Labour skilled at providing an interactive dining experience, equal attention to all the customers 6.
Hibachi and Teppanyaki Table: Tables are designed in such a way that chef prepares food directly in front of the customers therefore reducing variability from waitress and customer can easily communicate the menu. Then table helps the customer to participate in the cooking process. Model difficult to replicate: Benihana restaurants adopted well defined and accurate methods during site selection and training of chefs which helped them reduced the average dinner turnover time and the unique combination of Japanese paternalism in an American setting made the Benihana model difficult to replicate 8 Related Papers.
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