Founder of Benihana – The humble soul behind the success of Benihana!

From being an Olympic Wrestler and creating one of the world-famous Japanese brands, Benihana, Rocky H. Aoki is a role model that we all can look up to.

Benihana Restaurant | Image Credit: Larry D. Moore, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benihana_dinner.jpg">Benihana dinner</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode" rel="license">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>

Benihana Restaurant | Image Credit: Larry D. Moore, Benihana dinner, CC BY-SA 3.0

Early life

Rocky Aoki was born on October 9, 1938, in Tokyo, Japan. Being a descendant of Samurai warriors, he moved to New York to continue his wrestling career. Rocky was offered wrestling scholarships from several colleges. He was excellent in athletics competing in track and field.

Journey of Benihana

Rocky studied restaurant management when he was in New York. Eventually, he was able to realize his dream by opening the first Benihana in America. He had saved $10,000 from various jobs including selling ice cream and borrowed the rest to open this first four table “Teppanyaki Restaurant” in 1964.

Surpassing boundaries

Benihana’s recognition today as a cultural icon with 116 restaurants around the world continues to be a result of close relationships with guests and employees. For instance, being one of the finest Teppanyaki restaurants in the riverside Bangkok, Benihana Thailand offers truly authentic Japanese dishes and the most entertaining chefs in Thailand.

Multi-faceted personality

Rocky uniquely combined his love of adventure with his love for restaurants. He was fond of powerboat racing and won five US offshore races. In addition, he sponsored the “Benihana Grand Prix” in Point Pleasant. Rocky was the author of 13 business motivational books.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+