Benihana Inc. which co-owns the Benihana restaurant brand has distanced itself from the furore surrounding the lawsuit filed by the Kuwait branch of the restaurant.
In a press statement to this website, Benihana Inc says, “We have recently become aware of a lawsuit allegedly filed by Benihana against a blogger in Kuwait for his unfavorable review of a local Benihana restaurant.”
“Benihana Inc. wishes to correct the misinformation being disseminated on the Internet and published in articles connecting Benihana Inc. to this lawsuit, when it is not.
“The Benihana brand is co-owned by two separate and distinct corporate entities - Benihana Inc. and Benihana of Tokyo, Inc. Benihana of Tokyo, Inc. owns, operates and franchises Benihana restaurants in various parts of the world, including Kuwait.
“While both entities have a shared interest in the Benihana brand, Benihana Inc. has no control or authority over the business and legal decisions of Benihana of Tokyo, Inc. Consequently, we cannot comment or opine on the alleged lawsuit filed in Kuwait by Benihana of Tokyo, Inc. and/or its franchisee.”
The co-owner, however, does add that it is “pleased to hear of any customer's negative experience and seriously consider all feedback an opportunity for improving operations.”
In what may very well be a first case of its kind in the Middle East to involve a corporate chain, Mark Makhoul, a Lebanese living in Kuwait who runs a popular blog is being sued for posting a bad review of the Benihana restaurant for KD 5001.