After 45 years of fostering deep emotional connections with its guests, pent-up demand for Bennigan’s Legendary, made-from-scratch signature items remains as strong as ever.
When faced with the COVID-19 crisis, the iconic restaurant brand quickly moved to put the health and safety of its guests, team members and franchise partners above all else. At the same time, Bennigan’s implemented innovative sales drivers, like simplifying its menu, curbside pickup, delivery, grocery delivery and the addition of alcohol in carryout orders, all while adhering to CDC guidelines and safety protocols.
Over the past year, Bennigan’s also expanded the reach of its non-traditional brand, Bennigan’s On The Fly, to include delivery through virtual kitchens. The brand likewise began licensing trademarked menu items – including Death by Chocolate, Oh, Baby Back Ribs, and of course, the World Famous Monte Cristo – to other brands to generate incremental revenue. Additionally, Bennigan’s remained committed to menu innovation with the launch of limited-time chef-driven dishes and handcrafted signature cocktails throughout 2020.
“Even during a pandemic, Bennigan’s continues to demonstrate its resilience,” says Bennigan’s Chairman and CEO Paul Mangiamele. “We saw a V-shaped sales recovery after our dining rooms reopened, which we attribute to our unwavering commitment to maintaining the health and safety of our teams, guests and franchise partners, as well as our continuous menu innovation. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve leaned heavily into the deep emotional connections that our brand evokes amongst our loyal guests, and we kept them engaged and provided them reasons to return. We’ve worked hard to create new ways to reach both new and long-time guests, including licensing several trademarked, signature dishes and launching Bennigan’s On The Fly virtual kitchens. We can’t wait to build on this impressive momentum in 2021.”
Now more than ever, Mangiamele has remained focused on fueling franchise growth by offering support to those who need it. Since the pandemic began, Mangiamele has been working with furloughed executives and “brand-less” franchisees who have been left with leases, buildings and equipment while lacking any franchisor support, to offer the opportunity to join Legendary Restaurant Brands’ franchise family and open their own Bennigan’s, Bennigan’s On The Fly or Steak & Ale.
Anticipated demand for Bennigan’s is fueling aggressive growth worldwide. Currently, Bennigan’s has more than 100 locations in development. The iconic menu, robust 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. A new Bennigan’s On The Fly is headed to Peoria, Arizona in early 2021.