Rocky Aoki opened the first Benihana in 1964 and served management role, in at least some form until he died. Shares dropped $0.25 after announcement of his death.
Benihana stated that its Q4 2008 earnings fell 29% because of weakened comparable restauant sales and increased operating costs, primarily the costs of commodity foods like steak. Overall, the company suffered a 2.2% decrease in comparable restaurant sales in Q4.
Benihana released positive forecasts for renovations on its Benihana teppanyaki restaurants and expansion of its RA Sushi concepts.
Comparable restaurant sales increased 2.8% in Q2 2008 and total revenue increased 13.7% from Q2 2007.