Tuesday, February 1, 2011

O Benihana... why?

During our recent trip to Tokyo, our first session included a 2 hour introduction to the Japanese way of life.  Unlike other cities in the world, knowledge of the local way of life and value system is extremely important. Besides being taught a few common terms and sentences in Japanese, the most important part was the introduction to the Japanese concept of Wa. The concept of Harmony.

While the name Benihana of Tokyo has a Japanese connection and the restaurant serves Japanese food, the guys at Benihana have probably never heard of this Japanese concept.

So it was a shock to me to read that the local franchisee of Benihana of Tokyo has filed suit against Mark, a Kuwait based blogger. Mark has written a pretty much ordinary post about his experience at the newly opened Benihana restaurant in Kuwait City. What seemed to me a fair assessment of the restaurant by the blogger appears to have upset the restaurant owners to the extent of filing a claim for compensation. Sued for saying he didn't like the place? Sued for giving such important feedback? In this modern day world of the internet, what a PR fiasco it is turning out to be!!!

Personally, I will be asking my friends in Kuwait to boycott the restaurant until the local restaurant comes out with a clear public apology for this attack on the general public. This legal suit is not just an attack on the blogger but on the entire community.

Click here to reach Mark's blog.

O Benihana. Why? Why did you do it?

If you'd like to contact Benihana of Tokyo, please click here


Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny? How local businesses have yet to understand the power of social media? I had the opportunity to read Mark's blog and found the post fair and objective. After all does an 'individual customer' not have the right to publish his 'personal' opinion?

It will be interesting to see how the restaurant owners react after this deluge of comments on the internet.

Miss Stovetop said...

I hope this kicks up a huge storm. Would the restaurant go and sue people who come out after a meal and complain about the food? Then why someone who expressed his opinion online? I think it's ridiculous.


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