As Bennigan’s wraps up another banner year of growth and looks ahead to an even busier 2014, the company has added to the infrastructure and management team at its global restaurant support office. Four talented professionals–boasting more than seven decades of combined industry expertise–are joining the company’s Dallas headquarters staff before the New Year. In addition, a new architectural firm has been engaged to assist franchisees in opening the next generation of Bennigan’s restaurants, featuring the chain’s revolutionary new prototype design.
Yedid and Lucas Dudley have traveled across the globe for more than a decade helping to train new employees in “The Bennigan’s Way.” During that time, the bilingual training consultants have supported nearly every new restaurant opening and ensured that each newly hired employee understands what it means to have the passion, to “bleed green” and to deliver Legendary service to every guest, every meal, every day. The expert husband and wife team have now joined Bennigan’s on a full-time basis – Lucas as franchise operations manager and Yedid as training manager.
For more than 20 years, Don Holly was one of the most successful and respected general managers in Bennigan’s global system. Beginning in January, Holly, who currently serves as the franchise area director for Bennigan’s in Chicago, will bring his vast and well-earned expertise in guest service and operational excellence to his new role of director of operations.
Kathy McGee brings more than 17 years of international supply chain logistics and distribution expertise to her new role as Vice President of Supply Chain Logistics & Administration at Bennigan’s. McGee most recently managed purchasing for the visual category (furniture, top of counter, display) for new store openings and remodels at Neiman Marcus. Prior to that, she had successful tenures with Brinker International, U.S. Foodservice, Norco Restaurant Services, and Metromedia Restaurant Group (former owner of the Bennigan’s brand).
“I’m not exaggerating when I say we are building a ‘dream team’ of management professionals at Bennigan’s,” says president & CEO Paul Mangiamele. “Yedid and Lucas are two of the best trainers I’ve ever met; Don has been an operational superstar in Chicago for years; and Kathy has managed logistics for some of the top brands in the world. Together with our exceptional existing staff, we are excited about working side-by-side with our franchise partners to make Bennigan’s the most successful brand in the casual dining industry.”
The company has also forged a strategic alliance with Integrated Design Studio4, a fully integrated architectural and engineering firm comprised of the leading experts in retail and restaurant design. Led by Scott Windle and Tania Iñigo, ID Studio4 will help spearhead the brand’s design and construction re-invention, including the proliferation of the company’s new prototype restaurant design. The firm will also help launch the Bennigan’s on the Fly concept and re-introduce the Steak and Ale brand. Windle, who worked closely with Norman Brinker in the early days of Bennigan’s, brings a keen understanding of how to propel the brand into the future while paying respect to its rich heritage.
“Scott and Tania’s team are as talented as they come, and they have a rich pedigree of delivering compelling unit economics and a strong ratio of sales to investment metrics,” says Mangiamele. “With more than 85 new restaurant construction projects in the pipeline for 2014 and beyond, we’ll be leaning heavily on ID Studio4 for their expertise and ability to work closely with our franchisees to construct the best restaurants the industry has seen since Bennigan’s was first introduced in 1976.”
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