Benihana Inc. Updates Development Activity

Benihana Inc. Updates Development Activity

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 6, 2008--Benihana Inc. (NASDAQ: BNHNA; BNHN), operator of the nation's largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, today updated development activity for its Benihana teppanyaki, RA Sushi, and Haru restaurant concepts.


Benihana Teppanyaki

-- The Company signed a definitive lease agreement for a new
Benihana teppanyaki restaurant in Columbus, OH. The restaurant
will be located in Polaris Fashion Place, which is Central
Ohio's premier shopping destination, and just minutes north of
downtown. It features over 150 specialty stores, six anchor
stores, and the Columbus Zoo soft play area, the largest
children's play area in the region.

-- The Benihana teppanyaki restaurant in Dulles, VA opened on
January 31, 2008. This is the third Benihana teppanyaki
restaurant to open in fiscal 2008.

-- The Benihana teppanyaki restaurant in San Diego, CA reopened
on February 5, 2008. It had been closed since September 17,
2007 for remodeling.

-- The Benihana teppanyaki restaurant in Dallas, TX was closed on
January 14, 2008 for remodeling. The restaurant had been
recently operating in a limited capacity during its initial
renovation phase. It is scheduled to reopen during the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2008.

-- The Benihana teppanyaki restaurants in Cupertino and Newport
Beach, CA; Denver, CO; and Houston, TX were closed in January
for remodeling. These restaurants are expected to reopen late
in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

-- The Benihana teppanyaki restaurant in Turtle Creek, TX, was
permanently closed on January 27, 2008.


There are currently seven additional Benihana teppanyaki restaurants under development in Coral Springs and Orlando, FL; Chicago, IL; Meadowlands, NJ; Plano, TX; Plymouth Meeting, PA; and Westwood, MA.

The Company also signed a franchise agreement with an existing franchisee to open a new Benihana teppanyaki restaurant in Toms River, NJ.


RA Sushi

-- The RA Sushi restaurant in Mesa, AZ opened on December 17,
2007, while the RA Sushi restaurant in Baltimore, MD opened on
January 21, 2008. Including these locations, four new RA Sushi
restaurants have opened in fiscal 2008.

-- The Company signed a definitive lease agreement for a new RA
Sushi restaurant in Chino Hills, CA. The restaurant will be
located in the Shoppes at Chino Hills, a mixed-use
360,000-square-foot lifestyle retail center encompassing
upscale specialty retail, restaurants and eateries, as well as
a luxury multifamily community.


There are currently eight additional RA Sushi restaurants under development in Houston and Plano, TX; Huntington Beach, CA; Leawood, KS; Pembroke Pines, Orlando, and South Miami, FL; and Westwood, MA.


Haru

-- The Company opened a Haru restaurant in the Wall Street
financial district in New York City on December 10, 2007. This
is the second Haru restaurant to open in fiscal 2008.


"Our teppanyaki renovation program is moving ahead, and we have already completed fifteen renovations, with a sixteenth to be wrapped up by the end of March. In fact, we intend to be finished with the entire program in January 2009, with a total of 24 remodeled restaurants. The decrease in the average age of our teppanyaki restaurants will further enhance their relevance and appeal, and will pay dividends for our entire Company for many years to come. We are also pleased with our current expansion plans, which will perpetuate our leadership position within the Japanese theme and sushi dining category," stated Joel A. Schwartz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

About Benihana

Benihana Inc. (NASDAQ: BNHNA; BNHN) operates 86 restaurants nationwide, including 60 Benihana teppanyaki restaurants, nine Haru sushi restaurants, and seventeen RA Sushi Bar restaurants. Under development at present are seventeen restaurants - eight Benihana teppanyaki restaurants and nine RA Sushi restaurants. In addition, 18 franchised Benihana teppanyaki restaurants are operating in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.

To learn more about the Company and its three Japanese theme and sushi restaurant concepts, please view the corporate video at www.benihana.com/company_profile.asp.

CONTACT: ICR
Raphael Gross or Tom Ryan, 203-682-8200

SOURCE: Benihana Inc.

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