The main course at Benihana comes with an appetizer of culinary entertainment. A leader in full-service restaurants, the company's flagship chain of teppanyaki-style Asian restaurants offers a dining experience that features wisecracking, fast-chopping chefs who prepare the meals on a grill that is part of the table. Benihana owns and operates about 60 Benihana and Benihana Grill locations in more than 20 states, and it has around 20 franchised restaurants in a dozen other countries. The company also operates more than 30 other restaurants doing business under the names Haru and RA Sushi. In mid-2012 Benihana was acquired by private equity group Angelo, Gordon & Co. for about $296 million.
Change in Company Type
Benihana is now a privately-held company and is longer be listed on the NASDAQ national market after being acquired by Angelo, Gordon & Co. in 2012.
The company operates in the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Benihana owns and operates about 60 Benihana and Benihana Grill locations in more than 20 states. The company also has around 20 franchised restaurants in about a dozen other countries.
Benihana owns and operates about 60 Benihana and Benihana Grill locations along with more than 30 other restaurants doing business under the names Haru and RA Sushi.
Sales and Marketing
The economic downturn has especially challenged the upscale casual dining segment. Fewer people are willing to pay premium prices for dining out and entertainment given the uncertainties of rising unemployment and lack of credit. In response, Benihana has focused on improving food and service quality throughout its flagship restaurant chain while offering some menu specials to attract new customers.
The company has seen an upward trend in revenue from 2008 to 2012. Total revenue increased 7.5% to $352 million in fiscal year 2012 as compared to $327.6 million the company reported in 2011.
Restaurant sales increased $24.5 million in fiscal year 2012 compared to 2011. Revenue from the Benihana teppanyaki restaurants increased $20.1 million, or 9.3%, in fiscal year 2012 compared to 2011. Sales for the RA Sushi restaurants increased $4.4 million, or 5.7%, in fiscal year 2012 compared to fiscal year 2011.
The revenue spikes were primarily attributed to an increase in sales from restaurants opened longer than one year. Revenue from the company's Haru restaurants were flat in fiscal year 2012 when compared to 2011 while franchise fees and royalties were also flat during 2012 when compared to the previous fiscal period.
Benihana has built its domestic chain mostly through corporate-run locations, which results in higher operating costs but the strategy does give the company a great deal of control over food and service quality. Franchising is employed primarily in the company's international operations.
A pioneer in the Asian dining segment, Benihana helped introduce Americans to Japanese flavors and cooking techniques, paving the way for other Asian-themed dining concepts such as P.F. Chang's. However, the chain also competes more broadly in the upscale casual sector against such chains as McCormick & Schmick's and The Melting Pot, as well as local, independent operators. Benihana has built its domestic chain mostly through corporate-run locations, which results in higher operating costs but the strategy does give the company a great deal of control over food and service quality. Franchising is employed primarily in the company's international operations.
Benihana is majority-owned by Angelo, Gordon & Co.
Benihana of Tokyo, Inc., RHA Testamentary Trust, and Keiko Ono Aoki each own 12% of the company each, whereas Coliseum Capital Management, LLC owns 15% of the company. – less