Benihana is a chain of restaurants that pioneered Japanese Cuisine in the United States. The restaurants are as famous for the knife wielding, wisecracking chefs who prepare meals right at the diners’ tables as they are for the quality of their food. Almost as popular as the chefs’ theatrics are the Tiki Mugs in which exotic cocktails are served. Over time, many of these Tiki Mugs have become collectibles.
Founder Rocky Aoki – a Japanese wrestler who qualified for the 1960 Summer Olympics – opened his first Benihana restaurant in 1964 in New York City, with money he earned from driving an ice cream truck in Harlem.
Diners looking to sample Benihana’s menu at discount prices should look for promotions and coupons that will help them find this opportunity.
The original Benihana restaurant was a small 4-table affair that struggled for the first year of its existence until the New York Herald Tribune gave it a rave review. Thereafter, the tiny restaurant became a celebrity favorite, attracting such diverse personalities as the Beatles and Muhammad Ali.
Heartened by this success, in 1965 Rocky Aoki opened his second New York City restaurant, a much larger affair than the first, featuring Japanese design elements such as Samurai armor and sliding Shoji screens. In 1968, Benihana opened a restaurant in Chicago – the first Benihana outside New York City.
Today the Benihana Company owns or franchises just fewer than 80 restaurants throughout the United States as well as in 17 other countries, including Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Australia. To date the restaurant has served over 100 million meals.
Benihana chefs prepare hibachi-style food for diners at wooden auxiliary tableside platforms the restaurant has dubbed “teppanyaki” tables (after the Japanese words for steel grill (teppan) and broiled meat (yaki.)
The restaurant’s signature dishes are their hibachi style steaks, chicken and seafood. They also serve tempuras, sushi, udon noodle dishes and upscale Western-style food such as filet mignon and lobster tails. They also serve a kids’ menu with simplified Japanese-style dishes.
Benihana is open for both dinner and lunch.
Benihana Promotions, Discounts and Coupons
Free Birthday Meal Offer
Benihana’s most famous promotion is its free birthday meal offer. When you register to join The Chef’s Table club here, you become eligible to receive a complimentary Benihana Birthday Dinner certificate with a maximum value of $30. This certificate can be used at any time during the month your birthday falls in, and does not cover the cost of alcoholic beverages, tips or tax. The certificates are emailed to participants.
In a promotion that lasts through March 31, Benihana is currently offering its Chef’s Special – Filet Mignon and Hibachi Chicken for two – for only $42, a 25% discount. This promotion is not available at international locations, or at the Hawaii or Las Vegas restaurants. To download the coupon, set your browser to:
Other coupons and promotions are to be found on the corporate website from time to time, but more often individual Benihana locations will offer promotional discounts, advertising them in Sunday newspaper circular ads. You may also find promotions, discounts and coupons for individual locations online through websites that are dedicated to the shopping opportunities available in a specific locale.