[Solution]Research Paper: Benihana Inc

Introduction Since the economic downturn of the year 2008, the food service sector has been impacted heavily by this economic situation and it is yet…

Since the economic downturn of the year 2008, the food service sector has been impacted heavily by this economic situation and it is yet to recover. In addition, the situation has changed the structure of the industry where consumers and clients have been pushed towards the lower cost meal and snacks providers such as the coffee shops, fast food services and other chains. In addition, there have been changes directed to snacking behaviors with preferences for cheaper, faster and healthier foods. In this case, the traditional and other independent restaurants have been losing the price conscious consumers (Wank & Farrer, 2015).
Industry Summary
Restaurant industry is an essential retailer for the prepared foods. Actually, the industry’s operating performance is impacted by various similar factors that affect the traditional retail stores. For larger parts, the restaurants have business models that are easier to be understood and have an array that is similar with that of the standard industrial firm. Generally, the level of competition among the restaurants has been intense since the dining option tends to be abounded (Cwiertka, 2005). However, the fact is that there are dominant key players in the industry but there are no companies that are cornered. Actually, every restaurant location is expected to compete against other publicly traded chains as well as the smaller local established chains. Competitors in this industry range from the delis and pizzerias to the fine dining restaurants. The fact is that, restaurant meals tend to be discretionary purchases and the industry remains highly cyclical.
Top line growth in hospitality industry is generated in two various ways of opening locations and capacity to boost the same store sales. The strategy of opening a new door is straight forward, which is the core driver of revenue, especially during the earlier stages of a company. While chains grow in size, it tends to be challenging to consider the benefits. Actually, the most profitable locations are developed first and managers tend to be cautious not to locate restaurants closer to each other (Wells, 2014).
Restaurants margins are determined by the management execution as well as their capacity of delivering the best menu that would appeal to wider range of palates. Most firms in the restaurant industry have operational margins that are in the mid-to upper teens while the net profit margin is in mid-to high single digit. The cost of item tends to be an obvious essential item. Prices of items such as corn, beef, diary and chicken may be more greatly an aspect that depend mostly on the crop yield, feed costs as well as other external demand factors (Wank & Farrer, 2015).
Company Summary
Benihana Inc is an American Restaurant chain that is located in Doral, Florida. The hotel chain franchises more than 116 Japanese Cuisine restaurants all over the world incorporating the flagship Benihana Teppanyaki and Haru and RA Sushi restaurants. The restaurant was incorporated by Hiroaki Aoki in New York City. Benihana was incorporated in 1964 in New York City (West 56th Street) (Ray, 2007).
Actually, Benihana operates in the Teppanyaki style restaurants. The company operates with two other Asian restaurant concepts as aforementioned above. Generally, Benihana Teppanyaki restaurant provides Teppanyaki style of Japanese cuisine where fresh steak, seafood and chicken are prepared by the chefs on steal teppan grill at the center of the guest table. On the other hand, the RA Sushi conception provides Sushi and full menu of the pacific-Rim dishes characterized by the upbeat design elements as well as contemporary music. In addition, the Haru concept provided extensive menu for Japanese and Japanese fusion dishes in the urban modern environment with take away and delivery service. As reported by June 2013, the Restaurant owned and had in operation 63 Benihana Teppanyaki restaurants that incorporated one restaurant that was under the name of Samurai, other 22 additional franchised Benihana Teppanyaki restaurants, and owned and operated 25 RA Sushi restaurants and owned and operated other 9 Haru Restaurants (Wank & Farrer, 2015).
Regional Analysis of Europe
The entire economy of Europe comprises of more than 730 million people in 48 countries. The wealth of the European states tends to vary. Differences of wealth in the region had been noted after Cold War divide, where some of the states were able to breach the divide. However, some of the European states have a GDP per capita that is higher than the world’s average and are highly developed (Wank & Farrer, 2015).
In the year 2010, the Continent was estimated to have a nominal GDP of $ 19.920 trillion which accounted for 30.2 percent of the world. Some of the largest Europe economies are Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Russia and Spain (Gannon & Pillai, 2015). These countries are ranked in the global top fifteen whereby Europe alone accounts for the half of the ten wealthiest countries. After the World War II, European countries were brought closer to each other which culminated in the formation of European Union in 1999 with the introduction of unified currency (euro). In general, the EU is the wealthiest and the largest economy in the entire world. In 2009, Europe was the world’s wealthiest region (Wank & Farrer, 2015).
In the year 2010, it was found that, the hospitality industry in the region created almost one trillion Euros in terms of output which was equal to 8.1 percent of the EU’s overall economic output. Generally, according to the report that considers country-by-country analysis, the sector in the same year made a contribution of 126 billion Euros to the government in terms of excise duties, Value Added Tax (VAT) with support of 16.6 jobs, employment and social security taxes (Johnson & Turner, 2015).
Country Analysis (France)
France alone represents a strategic advantageous export market for the exporters due to various reasons. One of the reasons is that, the economy tends to be the fifth largest in the entire world and second largest in Europe (Wenning, 2016). According to reports by the World Bank, in 2013, France was ranked at 36th position in terms of ease in trading across borders.  As well, France is geographically placed as an ideal port of entry to the European region. In terms of food retail sales per capita, France has the second highest in the Europe continent. The chained operates possesses strong position in France’s consumer food service market whereby they are able to outperform the independent operators (Wenning, 2016).
Actually, France has a central position in Europe with GDP estimated to be $2.7 trillion in 2014 and is fifth largest economy in the world. According to the report, the trades of France back in 2012 were down by almost $70 million and remained at $1.2 trillion. France has been a member of G-8, World Trade Organization, Organization for Economic Development and the EU. It is considered as one of the leading world economic players. In terms of agri-food and sea food trade, France has been second in the list (Wank & Farrer, 2015).
Exporters to the country have experienced intense competition from other European companies rather than the Asian countries. Some of the top suppliers of the agri-food and sea food to the country are Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Netherlands. France is positioned at the heart of the global largest market where it has been able to offer favorable economic environment for the potential exporters (Hamilton & Webster, 2015).
Actually, the French economy has a model that offers roles that do cushion the citizens, props up demand and redistributes the wealth of the country. It was reported that, in early 2013, the country seemed to have entered to a recession, an aspect that was caused by weak production output, investment and consumption. In the country, any company wishing to put distribution, franchise and agency agreement, it is expected to make sure that such agreements are in line with the EU and the state national laws (Wenning, 2016).
As set out by the requirements of Canadian Trade Commissioner Service for France, all animal products that come to France are expected to be sourced from areas that are approved by the EU. Such products are live seafood, meat, seafood products, dairy products, pet foods and meat based products. As well, the food must be accompanied by sufficient sanitary certificate. Other agricultural products must be approved before being imported to the country. France government has placed more efforts that are aimed at encouraging commerce and competition in the country (Gannon & Pillai, 2015).
Competition among the cafes, full-service restaurants, fast food outlets and bars has been balanced in the country. Despite this, the independent outlets have yielded ground for chains which had made them to enjoy better performance which indicates the best growth in terms of value sales. Since the year 2011, the full service restaurants have been able to recover from a series of negative growth (Gannon & Pillai, 2015). On the other hand, the chains and independent operators were able to be more creative and adaptive to the clients’ demand to attain accessible price and short service time. Restaurants, fast food and take away outlets have been able to improve on the health aspect most for the menu they offer to deal with the negative issue that is mostly associated with consumption of junk food. Such changes have made the restaurants to be like casual dining whereas the casual dining are more of fast food outlets.
The chained operator maintains a strong position in France consumer food service operations with value for sales and their transition have outperformed those of independent operators. Success of these chains may be connected with accessible prices as well as aspect of authenticity. In addition, the chained operators have benefited from the strong network associated with their franchises all over the country (Gannon & Pillai, 2015).
Cwiertka, K. J. (2005). From ethnic to hip: circuits of Japanese cuisine in Europe. Food & Foodways, 13(4), 241-272.
Gannon, M. J., & Pillai, R. (2015). Understanding global cultures: Metaphorical journeys through 34 nations, clusters of nations, continents, and diversity. Sage Publications.
Hamilton, L., & Webster, P. (2015). The international business environment. Oxford University Press, USA.
Johnson, D., & Turner, C. (2015). European business. Routledge.
Ray, K. (2007). Ethnic succession and the new American restaurant cuisine. The Restaurants Book: Ethnographies of Where We Eat, 97-114.
Wank, D. L., & Farrer, J. (2015). Chinese Immigrants and Japanese Cuisine in the United States: A Case of Culinary Glocalization. In The Globalization of Asian Cuisines (pp. 79-99). Palgrave Macmillan US.
Wank, D. L., & Farrer, J. (2015). In the new millennium, Japanese cuisine has become a truly global cuisine (see Cwiertka 2001; Imai in this volume). Alongside French, Italian, Thai, Chinese, and Mexican cuisine, Japanese restaurants are ubiquitous on every continent. Megalopolises such as Shanghai, Jakarta, and New York each have close to one thousand Japanese restaurants, while smaller cities such as Copenhagen, Pittsburgh. The Globalization of Asian Cuisines: Transnational Networks and Culinary Contact Zones.
Wells, P. (2014). The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris. Workman Publishing.
Wenning, D. (2016). Consuming Culture: Effects of Globalization in American Japanese Restaurants.

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