Bennigan’s is kicking off a year of accelerated development by bringing its signature made-from-scratch menu items to two more markets in Iowa.
Legendary Restaurant Brands Chairman and CEO Paul Mangiamele announced that the company has signed a licensing agreement with Kinseth Hospitality Companies to open two virtual kitchens under its Bennigan’s On The Fly brand in Coralville and Dubuque, Iowa.
Kinseth, a longtime hotelier and franchisee of Bennigan’s in Clear Lake and Urbandale, Iowa, will offer Bennigan’s On The Fly for delivery, and to its hotel guests, in two of its hotels. This agreement marks the third Bennigan’s On The Fly in the pipeline, as another location is slated to open in Peoria, Arizona in early 2021.
“We are all thrilled to be working together on this exciting extension of our iconic Bennigan’s brand,” Mangiamele says. “The virtual kitchen model is an innovative franchising and licensing approach that leverages the power of our brands while maximizing delivery coverage at a much lower cost than building a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Not to mention, you can open them very quickly. As pent-up demand for Bennigan’s continues to soar, we look forward to expanding our reach and serving our trademarked scratch-made menu to more of America’s Heartland, and soon, the world!”
Legendary Restaurant Brands created its polished fast-casual brand, Bennigan’s On The Fly, for non-traditional venues that have less square footage than a traditional full-service Bennigan’s, as well as for delivery-only virtual models. The franchisee investment and attendant fees for Bennigan’s On The Fly are substantially less than a prototypical Bennigan’s, and with the virtual kitchen model, it can be operated out of an existing commercial kitchen with a significantly shortened lead time. Both of Bennigan’s new virtual kitchens in Iowa expect to be up and cooking by the middle of February.
“Bennigan’s has always been a phenomenal and supportive partner, so we can’t wait to share their signature fare with even more of our guests and communities across the great state of Iowa,” said Ben Kinseth, director of operations for Kinseth Hospitality Companies. “This agreement is part of our long-term growth plan to operate all of the concepts under the Legendary Restaurant Brands umbrella through this partnership. We receive consistently positive comments from loyal and new guests alike thanks to their experience dining at Bennigan’s, so it was a natural pivot to bring Bennigan’s On The Fly to our properties in the vibrant cities of Coralville and Dubuque.”
The strong global demand for Bennigan’s is fueling aggressive growth worldwide. Currently, Bennigan’s has more than 100 locations open, under contract and in development. The iconic menu, extensive beverage program and Legendary service are all part of a strategy designed to deliver maximum value to guests, teams and franchisees.
In the last few years, Bennigan’s has opened new franchise locations in Melbourne, Fla.; Veracruz, Mexico; Larnaca, Cyprus; Doha, Qatar; and Amwaj Islands, Bahrain. The brand’s new restaurant design has proven to be a perfect fit for secondary markets and continues to drive strong unit economics at locations in Steubenville, Ohio; Mandan, N.D.; and Monahans, Texas.
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