BENNIGAN’S, A CASUAL DINING PIONEER, IS LEADING THE PACK ONCE AGAIN, AND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO PLANS OF SLOWING DOWN.
By Danny Klein | March 2017 | Chain Restaurants
Paul Mangiamele won’t call it a comeback. What’s happening these days at Bennigan’s is better described as a renaissance, he says. Actually, just take the prefix “re” and tack on the word of your choice. Reinvention. Reengineering. Retooling. Reintroducing. These are all terms Mangiamele, the CEO of Legendary Restaurant Brands, believes fits the, yes, rebirth, one of the casual dining industry’s true pioneers.
“Now it’s come full circle to where we’re on top of the leaderboard again, and while other brands are firing their CEOs or filing Chapter 11, we’re pushing forward,” he says.
Bennigan’s 40th anniversary was a year to remember. The chain, which was founded by Norman E. Brinker in 1976 and has 150 units open, under development or under contract, experienced 6 percent same-store sales growth last year—a nearly mythical jump in today’s casual dining lexicon. In the past six years, Bennigan’s has appreciated average unit volume growth in excess of 35 percent.