There are definitely concrete reasons behind Benihana’s success in the U.S. despite being an oriental type of restaurant in an almost entirely Westernized market. In general, Benihana’s core implementation strategy is comprised of six individual milestones or mini targets: effective utilization of space, ambience that must be historically authentic, Hibachi/Teppanyaki table concept, economized menu choices, successful collaboration, simple management structure, and good site selection. Careful planning and execution of whatever plans were agreed upon by the management in these core areas are all vital to the success that Benihana experiences today in the U.S. market. The aspect that requires every branch or franchisee to commit to the historically authentic ambience standards for example, is one of the premium features that most restaurant-goers appreciate about Benihana. In fact, this feature is only unique to this company, and this has actually been its trademark ever since it set foot in the U.S. market. Sure, the management could focus on other aspects of maintaining and improving Benihana’s business operations, but they really cannot afford to neglect these seven core aspects because their commitment to these things in the past is what made them popular in the U.S.
Effective and Aggressive Marketing
Marketing is an important part of any business because a good and effective marketing strategy is one of the best ways to attract customers, long term ones. Investing 8-10 percent of its gross sales for advertising alone, we could say that marketing and advertising is one of the aspects of the business that this company wants to focus on. However aggressive the financing may be, the effectiveness of a marketing campaign will also depend on how creative and innovative it is. Benihana has taken this factor into consideration ever since they released their first advertising brochures in the U.S., focusing more on the aesthetics and using the “word of mouth” publicity. However, this strategy is a double-edged sword. It can only help a company’s reputation if the food quality, the food services, and the restaurant’s atmosphere are good. Otherwise, it will have a negative effect because the people will surely speak about negative reviews about the establishment. In Benihana’s case, the quality of their food products is liked by 98 percent of their customers; the service by 93 percent; and the overall atmosphere by 93 percent. Meaning, they do not really have to worry about the possible adverse effects of using the word of mouth publicity because all other people will hear from Benihana diners would be good news.