The Greene Turtle announced that it has opened a new franchise restaurant at the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Maryland, its first casino-based location. The popular sports-themed casual dining concept replaces the proprietary Celebrity Bar & Grille and Extras Café with a full-size (5,200 square feet of bar and dining room area) restaurant offering The Greene Turtle’s full menu, and an adjoining 24-hour eatery that will be called Greene Turtle Express that will open in the near future and will offer a variety of The Greene Turtle’s favorite items. Casino customers will be able to use their comps and casino perks in both establishments.

Vice President of Franchise Development Tom Finn said that the casino installation represents a new channel in which The Greene Turtle sees great synergy, as the two businesses cater to many of the same clientele and because many regional casinos are seeking to bring new alluring and satisfying dining options to their guests.

“Opening restaurants in other establishments that attract captive audiences has been an ongoing strategy for us,” says Finn, noting that the chain has enjoyed success in Washington, D.C.,’s Verizon Center event/sports arena and Baltimore’s Thurgood Marshall (BWI) airport. “As with the many fans and families who frequent our Verizon Center restaurant, we see a great opportunity to cater to guests before, during and after their main on-site activity, encouraging them to stay on-site longer and return often. We anticipate great success in this venue and in other casino restaurants we hope to open in the future.”

The Greene Turtle enjoys strong brand awareness throughout the East courtesy of its concentration in the Mid-Atlantic region, its presence in high-traffic locations such as BWI Airport, the Verizon Center and Maryland’s and Delaware’s beach towns, and its longstanding involvement in sports programs ranging from professional teams to community, school and youth leagues. Its strong consumer appeal is driven by its casual, welcoming atmosphere, a menu highlighted by comfort food standards and regional favorites, a broad beverage selection of craft and mainstream beers, and the ability to dine, drink and socialize while watching sports on dozens of big-screen overhead TVs.

These and other ingredients combine to create a very broad demographic appeal that attracts, among others, seniors, sports fans, baby boomers, millennials and other young, active adults, all targets of the casino segment. The Greene Turtle’s strong economics, driven by its robust high-margin beverage program, also complements the casino business model.

“We’ve been searching for the right partner to add to our variety of amenities, and this partnership with The Greene Turtle gives the local and regional customer a new, quality dining experience,” says Matthew Heiskell, Hollywood Casino Perryville’s general manager and vice president.

The past several years have been banner ones for The Greene Turtle, with 2015 and 2016 yielding nine new restaurants. The chain’s footprint now extends from southern Virginia north to New York’s Long Island and west to Morgantown, W.Va. 2017 has already seen the opening of the first Greene Turtle in New Jersey and will soon witness the debut of The Greene Turtle in Pennsylvania. Forty-five additional locations in Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are planned to open in the next several years.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Greene Turtle