Kevin has literally grown up in the restaurant business. He has worked in all positions at Benihana from dishwasher to maitre’d. Upon graduating NYU in 1990, he joined Benihana Inc. and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. In the early part of his career, Kevin managed over a dozen Benihana restaurants in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Hawaii. Later, he went on to managing and developing the Benihana’s franchisees in Asia, Europe, Australia and Canada.
In 1998 Kevin was promoted to Benihana Inc.’s VP Marketing and became a member of the Board of Directors. Kevin’s marketing initiatives focused on keeping the 40 year old brand relevant. He initiated and developed a new prototype design for new and existing units which was rolled out nationally and internationally. During Kevin’s tenure, Benihana grew from 40 restaurants to over 75 and under his leadership Benihana Inc. developed and acquired three additional restaurant concepts: Haru, Ra Sushi, and Doraku.
Kevin created and managed Doraku since its inception in 2001. He created Blue Tree Café in 2012 as a tribute to his grandfather, who started his first café in 1942, and is launching his newest creation opening summer 2013- Aoki, distinctive Japanese dining. Aoki will be a uniquely authentic experience, bringing the traditions and heritage from the streets of Japan to diners across the globe.