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Benihana Inc. Reports Total Restaurant Sales And Comparable Restaurant Sales Results For The First Fiscal Quarter Of Fiscal Year 2013

MIAMI, July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Benihana Inc. (NASDAQ: BNHN), operator of the nation's largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, today reported total restaurant sales and comparable restaurant sales for the first fiscal quarter of fiscal year 2013. The announcement marks the Company's tenth consecutive quarter, and thirty-first consecutive period, of comparable restaurant sales growth.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110513/NY02073LOGO)

The Company also announced that its Benihana Teppanyaki brand ranked number one in the highly-respected Knapp-Track comparable sales survey for the calendar months of May and June 2012, building on the Company's impressive number one Knapp-Track ranking for all of calendar year 2011.

For the first fiscal quarter ended July 22, 2012, total restaurant sales increased year over year by 3.8% to $109.7 million from $105.7 million, and Company-wide comparable restaurant sales increased by 4.5%.  As a result of a 53 rd week of operating results included in the 2012 fiscal year, fiscal year 2013 comparable sales results are reported on a one-week adjusted basis.  By concept, comparable restaurant sales increased 6.4% at Benihana Teppanyaki, 0.7% at RA Sushi and 0.9% at Haru. These results were driven by dine-in traffic growth of 3.6% at Benihana Teppanyaki.

Richard C. Stockinger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Benihana Inc., said, "We are extremely pleased with yet another quarter of excellent sales growth driven primarily by increased traffic at our Benihana Teppanyaki brand. Benihana Inc. has now produced ten consecutive quarters of comparable restaurant sales growth in a very difficult consumer and economic environment.

"It is an honor for our core Benihana Teppanyaki brand to be ranked number one in the prestigious Knapp-Track comparable sales survey for May and June 2012, and we are especially pleased with these results given that we are following a number one Knapp-Track ranking for the full calendar year 2011.  This continued performance momentum reflects the inherent strength of this iconic brand and the outstanding efforts of our entire Benihana team."

During the quarter, Benihana Teppanyaki represented approximately 68% of total restaurant sales, while RA Sushi and Haru accounted for 23% and 9% of total restaurant sales, respectively. There were 1,520 store-operating weeks in the first fiscal quarter of 2013 compared to 1,540 store-operating weeks in the same period of the prior year.  One Benihana Teppanyaki restaurant was permanently closed in late fiscal 2012 and one Haru restaurant was permanently closed in early fiscal 2012, both of which are excluded from reported comparable sales results for the current year.

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