Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An open letter to Benihana

Dear Benihana,

I am writing to you to lodge my strong protest against the recent lawsuit that you have brought against Mark, a Kuwait based blogger. I understand that you are now suing Mark for his blog post about his recent visit to your restaurant in Kuwait. In case you are not sure which specific post I am referring to, I have provided the link HERE

I have tried to contact you earlier via the contact link at your website http://www.benihanagroup.com/. However, after waiting for several days, I realise that you have chosen to not respond to me. Hence I am posting an open letter to you hoping that you will read it and reply to me when you feel it is time to.

Please note that I have no opinion about the food you serve and at this point I really don't care. However, I find the recent legal action that you have taken is an attack on ordinary customers (current and potential) like me. I am shocked to note that you have chosen to sue a customer over what appeared to be a fair and balanced review. 

I am absolutely disappointed to note the legal action that you have taken and will be advising my friends across the world to refrain from patronising your restaurant. I am even more disappointed that you have chosen not to respond to my message sent to you via your website. 

My initial reaction was of shock. I was made to believe that the legal action was probably just a local action by the franchisee. However, your silence on the subject over the last few days suggest that you may be in fact a partner in the decision to sue the blogger. 

Please let me know your stand on the subject. I look forward to your response. Nothing short of dropping the legal action, sacking the GM and apologizing to Mark will satisfy your fans across the world.

In case you have not seen the comments from other bloggers in the Middle East, I have  provided links to only a few of them for your review.






Movies, Pizza, Middle East and Entrepreneurship
Half Eaten Man2ouche


amazingwomenrock.com

Update 15th Feb, 2011


I have received the following response from Benihana of Tokyo:



Benihana of Tokyo, Inc. is aware that a law suit has been filed by its franchisee in Kuwait, the Las Palmas Restaurant Company, against a popular local blogger. 
Since we have not read nor received a copy of the law suit, it would be inappropriate for us to make a comment at this time.  Until we can review all the facts, there is no way for us to know if the reported legal action has merit.
Nevertheless, the Benihana organization takes pride in the quality of its food and the showmanship of its renowned chefs.   We have been in business since 1964 and have become the largest Japanese themed restaurant chain in the world.  All feedback – both positive and negative are taken very seriously.
The Benihana in Kuwait is the newest restaurant in the chain.  It has been opened a little over a month.  

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