Hibachi Restaurants: Is it Time to Revive?

When I first read the Benihana case, a classic operations case studied by MBA students around the world, all I wanted to do was to go to one and watch this operations marvel, the service efficiency etc. Most of you would agree, that’s never going to happen. All Hibachi restaurants always have terrible service. I wonder what happened. Did they take their success for granted and forgot to improve?

I did enjoy the performance the first time but found it rather irritating the next. Now I find it amusing to see how someone can crack so many bad jokes and perform persistently in spite of no encouragement from the audience. I just go to observe it and hope that it will improve and I will see the Hibachi restaurants, like the way I imagined it to be. I wont even go to quality of food and service, just yelp it and you will know.

It’s hard to believe that Benihana is the company which developed it’s business model based on controlled eating time, restricted menu, and performance attraction followed. In 1970s they built bridges to connect Japanese staff with American customers and revived. All the old excitement and excellence in service is long gone. Hibachi restaurants are everywhere and there is no novelty of the concept. One thing I strongly noticed, the only people who absolutely enjoy the performance are between ages of 3 to 10. It’s time for them to revive again and form something that attracts more of 3 to 10 year olds. Make it a family restaurant in a true sense.

It takes a long time to build a legendary brand, reviving it with changing needs becomes necessary. This is true for all companies and individuals. Really long term and ever lasting excellence lies in taking a look at your abilities time to time, improve them, learn from others and be successful forever.

Questions, comments, complements?

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