Do you want to start a restaurant business by buying Benihana franchise? If YES, here is how much it cost to open a Benihana franchise. Benihana is a Japanese steakhouse that started operations in 1964. Founded by a Japanese-born entrepreneur, Rocky H. Aoki, Benihana opened its first restaurant in New York City.

How Much It Cost to Open a Benihana Franchise

According to their website, the total required investment in a Benihana restaurant varies, depending largely on the franchisee’s real estate arrangements (lease or purchase). Although BNC has no financial involvement in the real estate, experienced counseling in site selection and restaurant development is available to prospective and existing franchisees. But the selection, purchase or leasing decision always remains with the franchisee.

  • Liquid assets

Liquid assets are a key indicator of whether a prospective franchisee is in a position to develop a full-sized Benihana restaurant, and their standard requirement is a minimum of $800,000 in liquid assets per unit.

  • Franchise fee

To open a Benihana franchise, you will need to pay $50,000 franchise fee for the rights to open your own location. There are currently a total of 116 units in operation, and they are all successful.

  • Royalty fee

Apart from the franchise fee, you need to pay a monthly royalty fee of five percent (5%) of gross sale and an additional monthly advertising contribution of one percent (1%) of gross sale to support brand marketing and advertising expenses to Benihana.

  • Initial cost involvement

Initial costs required to open a new Benihana restaurant include, without limitation, equipment and fixtures, inventory, insurance, working capital, liquor license costs and other expenses, including a $40,000 franchise fee payable to BNC.

Steps on How to Get a Benihana Franchise

Before you can think of acquiring a Benihana franchise, the company has certain qualifications that want you to have. Apart from being able to foot the costs, the qualifications important to be considered for a Benihana franchise are:

  • You must have an entrepreneurial spirit and strong desire to succeed.
  • You must have demonstrated business experience and acumen.
  • You must have the ability to manage, motivate, and train team members.
  • You must have the ability to manage finances.
  • You must have the willingness to personally devote full time and best efforts to become proficient in running the day-to-day operation of a restaurant business as a hands-on franchisee.
  • You must meet all required financial qualifications.

If you have reviewed the information on their site and feel you are qualified and interested in exploring an opportunity to become a Benihana franchisee, the company expects you to request a Franchise Application by calling BNC’s franchising department toll-free at 1 (800) 327-3369 or by requesting an application by sending a mail to:

Benihana, Inc.

21500 Biscayne Boulevard

Suite 900


Phone: (305) 593-0770

Fax: (305) 675-3849

You will be contacted with the necessary information after you have sent the mail or made the call.

What You Must Know About Benihana Franchise

The road to success was not an easy one for Rocky Aoki. When he moved to the after his college education, he started off by selling ice cream on the streets of Harlem while studying restaurant management at night. The ice cream business turned out to be very profitable, mostly because of the colorful Japanese cocktail umbrellas he added to the treats, and he managed to save up $10,000 for his first Benihana restaurant.

With his seed money in place, Rocky took out a loan and used it to start America’s first Japanese teppanyaki restaurant on West 56th street. Named after his parents’ Tokyo coffee shop, Benihana opened in 1964. The restaurant features an authentic Japanese farmhouse interior and food prepared on steel teppanyaki grills right in front of customers.

His highly trained teppanyaki chefs delighted customers with intricate knife work and theatrics. Not to mention delicious food. But it wasn’t until legendary food critic Clementine Paddleford gave Benihana a great review that the restaurant really took off, paying for itself in just six months.

Soon after, Rocky opened a second Benihana in New York and a third Benihana restaurant in Chicago. By 1972, there were six Benihana locations in the United States, with more opening every day. Sadly, Rocky Aoki died in 2008 at the age of 69. But, his legacy lives on with more than 70 Benihana restaurants in the United States, Caribbean, Central and South America, with more than 100 million meals served.

Through its franchise program Benihana has built 25 international franchises together with its sister company Benihana of Tokyo. Agreements have been signed to build more franchise restaurants in the United States and Internationally over the next couple of years. Since the Benihana brand name and its trademark holds one of the strongest awareness levels in the restaurant industry, owning a Benihana restaurant can be a very rewarding investment.