Operations Management Simulation
Benihana

by Forio and Harvard Business School Publishing

This simulation models a typical night at a Benihana restaurant. It is organized as a series of challenges, each with a different set of options for managing operations and demand. In all of them, the goal is to manage the bar and dining area to maximize utilization, throughput, and - most importantly - profit for the evening.

The Story

In the sim, customers begin their evening with drinks at the bar. Then they move into the dining room, where chefs create meals right at each table. In each of the four sim challenges, students focus on a particular aspect of the restaurant operation:

  • Batch Dining Room Customers: How does batching strategy affect throughput?
  • Design the Bar: What’s the optimum size of the bar for maximum profitability?
  • Change Dining Time: What is the optimal dining time across an evening?
  • Boost Demand with Advertising and Special Programs: How will marketing efforts affect operations and profitability?

Learning Focus

  • Experiment with improving throughput using different batching strategies
  • Test different strategies for influencing demand variability
  • Investigate capacity, demand rates, cycle time, and throughput in a service operation

Topics Covered

  • Operations Management
  • Service Industry
  • Capacity Planning
  • Restaurant Management