Bullish on Benihana

This from Schaeffer’s Daily Market Blog:

Perhaps it was the over-the-top product placement on the Christmas episode of The Office earlier this month, but something has brought Asian eatery Benihana (NASDAQ:BNHN) under the spotlight …

The operator of about 55 teppanyaki-style restaurants has rallied more than 11 percent today, overtaking its 10-week moving average in the process.

… Keep an eye on this one to see if today’s breakout translates into a reversal in its overall trend or if it, like Steve Carell’s Michael Scott character, is just on the rebound.

Read the full investment report here.


  1. Okay, now Benihana is an actual restaurant.
    But does anyone remember in the 40-Year-Old Virgin when Steve & Catherine Keener go to that one restaurant on a date, isn’t that Benihana’s too? I mean, they have the same uniforms. I even saw the same waitress.

    *My mom noticed this & then told me. Good thing for mothers. :]

  2. That’s interesting. If all the product placement continues, I wonder how long it will be before there’s a mutual fund that invests in Apple, Benihana, Chili’s, Herr’s, Hewlett-Packard, Hooters, Radisson, Sandals, Staples, and other companies featured on The Office.

  3. I kind of wish they’d stop with the product placement.

    Let me clarify: I DO NOT MIND if the product placement is a RESTAURANT or a place.

    I do mind the plain as day sticker “staples” on a shredder the camera nicely focuses on.

    Oh, poo, The Office, why you????

  4. Unfortunately, product placement is just beginning in entertainment. I think it’s only going to get worse (or better, depending on your place in the situation). I would much rather see it done blatently and kind of tongue-in-cheek the way it is done on The Office, than submersively, like journalists and other pundits who drop names of products only because they are getting a cut somewhere along the way. My least favorite is shows like GMA or The Today Show who do “important” news stories on the latest products or movies which, if anyone noticed, just happen to be owned or backed by their networks’ parent companies.

    To me that is much more annoying and deceptive than a Staples or Benihana reference.

    Also, product placements in shows actually help them out with funding – it’s usually the only way now that shows come up with the rest of the money they need to actually be created. Without Staples giving The Office money and products to use on the set, the show wouldn’t be able to maintain its production quality. It’s just a compromise producers and writers have to make nowadays to survive.

    Can you tell I went to school for this kind of thing? =)

  5. I agree with you, Allison. Product placement is pretty much inevitable these days… And I think that The Office has managed to do it with humor and without compromising the finished product. Unlike show’s like “The Biggest Loser”, which is so packed with shameless plugging (including it’s own website) that it may has well be an hour long infomercial.

    Which makes me ask the question once again, why is it that stupid gameshows and reality shows are an hour long and not The Office? It’s just not right. :(

  6. What I don’t understand is why The Office has to do these blatant product placements and My Name is Earl doesn’t, yet Office gets the same or better ratings than Earl. Earl might have product placements but it isn’t so screamingly obvious, they don’t have “A Chevrolet Valentine’s Day.”

  7. I totally agree with Allison that product placement is on the rise. (And I’ve gone to school for that too!)

    I don’t get why people are so offended by the Staples references? I wasn’t too fond of the Benihana one, but probably only because I didn’t like that episode. I had no problem (it was even funny) when they went to Hooters and didn’t even notice the Chili’s one that much.

    As to the Staples references, I think it fits in well with the Office theme. When they start branding Meredith’s vodka, then we know they’ve gone over the edge! ;)

    I’m sure most shows have some product placement (check out “My Boys” for their many references to match.com, their sponsor) unless you’re talking about Roseanne, which made an effort to block out any product names for some reason. Maybe that was purposeful, too, like they couldn’t afford the brand anyway, so they’d buy the “one-off” brand.

    If it keeps The Office on the air, every episode should be sponsored. It’s just like classic TV where every show had and featured a sponsor.

  8. Here’s what should happen: they should load up the show with product placement, which most people don’t notice anyway because it’s mostly subliminal, and do away with regular commercials.

    Folks, do you realize that the actual show is only twenty minutes and thirty seconds long? Sitcoms used to be closer to twenty five minutes not that long ago. Think of how many deleted scenes could survive and how much happier we’d all be with a longer show!

    There. That felt better.

  9. Cousin Mose…I like your thinking…But with everybodies thoughts about the Benihana reference, I’m feeling kinda guilty about going there last week, because of the show..It got me thinking..Hum..I haven’t been there in a while, the food is yum, yum yummy!!!!

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