Benihana Inc., the Miami-based operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, said increased guest traffic drove second-quarter total restaurant sales, which rose 5.6 percent, as well as same-store sales, which increased 6.4 percent company wide.
For the quarter ended Oct. 9, restaurant sales totaled $75.8 million, Benihana reported this week. By concept, same-store sales increased 7.7 percent at Benihana Teppanyaki, 5.3 percent at RA Sushi and 0.6 percent at Haru.
Because of Hurricane Irene, which hit the eastern seaboard of the United States in August, sales at 12 restaurants were negatively affected, the company said. Excluding the impact of reduced operating hours or closures, second-quarter same-store sales would have increased 6.6 percent company wide, reflecting increases of 7.8 percent at Benihana Teppanyaki, 5.4 percent at RA Sushi and 2.0 percent at Haru, the company said.
“We are very pleased with our sales performance in this period and the quarter as a whole, as we once again saw excellent growth driven by increased traffic,” Richard C. Stockinger, Benihana chief executive, said in a statement.
“Benihana Inc. has now produced twenty-one consecutive four-week periods, and seven consecutive quarters of comparable restaurant sales growth, in a very difficult consumer and economic environment,” Stockinger said. “This achievement reflects the continued strength of our operational and promotional efforts and the power of our iconic brand.”
During the quarter, Benihana Teppanyaki represented approximately 67 percent of total restaurant sales, while RA Sushi and Haru accounted for 23 percent and 10 percent of total restaurant sales, respectively.
Benihana operates 96 restaurants nationwide, including 63 Benihana restaurants, eight Haru sushi restaurants and 25 RA Sushi restaurants. In addition, 18 franchised Benihana restaurants are operating in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.