“More Than Just Food and Drink”
An excerpt from Paul Mangiamele’s book Bennigan’s Return to Relevance: Bleeding Green 25/8
“I’ve never listened to naysayers so none of that negativity fazed me. However, I soon had an encounter that further cemented my belief in this brand’s resilience. My lovely wife Gwen and I were having dinner in a white-tablecloth, French restaurant when we happened to hear the table next to ours discussing the menu options. The item of note was this restaurant’s “Croque Monsieur,” and they were reminiscing about a similar sandwich they had eaten years ago at…wait for it…Bennigan’s. They were going on and on, waxing poetically about how much they loved that sandwich and missed their local Bennigan’s in Jackson, Mississippi. That menu item is called the “World Famous Monte Cristo,” and our phenomenal combination of ham, turkey and cheese is still a bestseller. I couldn’t help myself and had to intrude into their conversation. The six of us then spent a few fun minutes talking about the beloved Monte Cristo, as well as Bennigan’s return to prominence. I promised them a new Bennigan’s would be opening just north of them in Memphis, Tennessee and they told me I could count on them to be at the opening. I was beaming.
This is just one of many stories that illustrate the love and emotional connection that people have for this brand. Everywhere I go, people like to tell me about “their” Bennigan’s and what the restaurant has meant to them. It has always been a neighborhood favorite – a place that was about more than just food and drink. It was somewhere to meet friends, kick back and let your hair down for a little while. That Bennigan’s spirit lives on in everything we do, every single day. This is the foundation by which Bennigan’s was created and although the company lost its focus through the years, it is the way we are operating today.”