Matching supply with demand at a Japanese cuisine restaurant (a case study)

One of the many perks of being in the Fisher Master of Accounting program is that you get to pick your electives from a large set of classes. (Almost 80% of the Fisher MAcc degree consists of electives!) One elective I chose to complete was Matching Supply with Demand. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and loved learning something different then accounting. One of our most recent group projects was a Benihana simulation. If you are unfamiliar with Benihana it is a restaurant in which they cook the food right in front of you at tables of 8. Sometimes you sit with people you do not know at the table. It is one of my favorites types of restaurants; I always would choose to go to a similar type of restaurant back home for my birthday with my family. So I was excited to do this project and it even made me go visit a local hibachi grill in Columbus! I worked with a few other students in the MAcc program in this class. For the project we were instructed to go through 5 challenges to pick our best option for running a Benihana restaurant for the night. The challenges included:

1) Picking to batch the customers or not batch the customers as they arrive.

2) Pick the amount of bar seats and tables in the restaurant

3) Pick the dining time during three different intervals of the night. First 5pm to 7pm, 7pm to 8:30pm, and 8:30pm to 10pm.

4) Pick an advertising technique (Happy hour, discounts, or increase advertising)

5) Pick different types of batching at the three interval hours. We could: not batch, or seat tables of 8, or seat tables of 4, or seat tables of 4-8.

Lastly we were asked to come up with our best solution to maximize profit and utilization for the night. I don’t want to spoil the answer for anyone who has not done the project but our group was able to come up with a great solution after analyzing our 5 challenges. I look forward to more interesting projects/ cases to come in the future in my Matching Supply with Demand class!