Record-breaking new restaurant sales and continued unit growth define 2019 for iconic restaurant brand
Bennigan’s – the iconic brand known for its chef-driven American fare and friendly Irish hospitality – has wrapped up another successful year after implementing its innovative market development strategy.
Pent-up demand and deep emotional connections for Bennigan’s signature menu items remains strong, as demonstrated by continued record-breaking sales around its new prototype locations. The prototype restaurants occupy a space less than half the size of the original Bennigan’s design, but experience double the sales volume, not only driving compelling unit economics but establishing a one-of-a-kind franchise model.
“We have distilled 43 years of experience into a franchise system that delivers proven results for the brand and resonates with the communities we serve,” said Legendary Restaurant Brands Chairman and CEO Paul Mangiamele. “As a result, Bennigan’s is now flourishing in smaller markets that so many national brands ignore. And since the new year is the perfect time to make new resolutions and start new ventures, we’re inviting qualified franchisees to join us by bringing our iconic menu and Legendary service to their hometown. It has always been and will always be about the people, passion and culture of our brands that will capture the market share from brands that fail to execute.”
In addition to 20% unit growth and stellar domestic success, expansion is continuing around the globe. International and domestic locations are planned in Houston, Texas; Biloxi, Miss.; Orlando, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan with more than 100 additional locations under contract.
In 2019, Bennigan’s celebrated a strategic partnership agreement with Entegra/Sodexo, designed to assist franchisee operating efficiencies and positively impact unit level economics. The tactical alignment has also introduced the Legendary Restaurant Brands portfolio to thousands of properties around the world. A ghost kitchen strategy is also in incubation.
Over the past year, Bennigan’s delighted the hearts and stomachs of fans worldwide by launching several new limited time featured entrées, like the Ultimate Sriracha Burger and Megan’s Berry Summer Salad. The restaurant brand continued to drive cocktail innovation as part of its Legendary guest experience with the launch of a new beverage menu that added several renowned brands to its line-up. Bennigan’s also added several new signature drinks, including Paddy O’Punch, Farmhouse Lemonade and Strawberry Basil Breeze.
“Our in-house innovation team has a combined total of 60 years of experience with the Bennigan’s brand,” Mangiamele said. “We are devoted to menu innovation with superb high-quality ingredients, and it truly sets us apart from other brands.”
Bennigan’s maintains a long history of serving made-from-scratch dishes and proprietary recipes, but nothing tops the cult-like following of Bennigan’s World Famous Monte Cristo.
“The intense emotional connection that has existed with fans is still as relevant today as its historic beginning a half-century ago,” Mangiamele continued. “Bennigan’s pioneered casual dining and when our guests discover that the brand is back and thriving, they become enthusiastic ambassadors. Even after another strong year of growth in 2019, the legendary momentum of Bennigan’s isn’t slowing down. 2020 will be our best year yet.”