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Benihana Inc ( ) , the largest operator of Japanese restaurants in the U.S, posted restaurant sales of $24.4 million during the four-week period ending November 6, 2011, up 6.0% from $23.0 million delivered in the year-ago period.
The upside in sales was primarily driven by improved comparable restaurant sales across all three restaurant concepts.
The company’s comparable restaurant sales grew 7.4% in the first four-week period of the third quarter of 2012, representing the twenty-second consecutive period of growth.
The comparable restaurant sales jumped 9.8% at Benihana Teppanyaki restaurants on the back of higher guest count (up 8.2%) resulting from theBenihana Teppanyaki Renewal Program. The company initiated the program in 2009 to improve the dining experience of the guests at the Benihana Teppanyaki restaurants.
Moreover, same-store sales during the period leaped 3.9% at RA Sushi and 0.8% at Haru, driven by traffic growth of 2.9% at Haru and flat at RA Sushi.
However, store operating weeks during the period were 1.0% lower than the year-ago period.
The Miami-based company generates 99.5% of its revenues from restaurant sales (67% from Benihana Teppanyaki, 23% from RA Sushi and 10% from Haru) and the remaining 0.5% from franchise fees and royalties.
The company has started the first four-week period of the third quarter on an encouraging note and with traffic improving at both RA Sushi and Haru, we expect the company to post strong sales in the quarter. To further drive traffic, the company continues to pursue promotional and marketing initiatives.
Benihana operates 96 restaurants, including 63 Benihana Teppanyaki restaurants, 25 RA Sushi Bar restaurants and 8 Haru sushi restaurants. Additionally, the company has 18 franchised Benihana Teppanyaki restaurants, which are operational in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.
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