Interesting post, thank you. I see lots of similarities between what Hai Di Lao and Benihana’s operating model. I am intrigued by your last comment on their loss-making delivery service. I wonder how you see this working out for the company. Are they banking on larger delivery volumes eventually leading to economies of scale and therefore a profitable business line, or do you think they see it like the waiting areas of their restaurants: an investment that gets their name out there and creates more of a buzz?
I would be interested in finding out more about the challenges that they faced when moving from fast food to fast casual dining. Was their emphasis on company culture and higher wages specifically developed to support this transition? If so I wonder how sustainable this advantage will prove without further investment in training and other aspects of employee satisfaction.
Fascinating to hear about their model of outsourced production and franchised/third party stores, allowing them to scale up rapidly with minimal up-front capital expenditure.