As part of its post-bankruptcy comeback, last year casual dining icon Bennigan's Franchising Company debuted a brand refresh at two corporate locations and plans to bring the same menu optimization and service enhancements to current and future franchise partners.
In 2011, the 78-unit company signed franchise agreements with eight new franchisees to develop more than 30 new restaurants, and has plans to open 12 new locations domestically and internationally in 2012. Projected openings this year include restaurants in Arkansas, Texas, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Florida, as well as internationally in Cyprus, South Korea, Mexico, El Salvador and Dubai.
In addition to strategic operational and marketing moves made last year under new president and CEO Paul Mangiamele, Bennigan's launched a new 4,200-square-foot, 180-seat prototype in Appleton, Wis., featuring updated menus and bar offerings, uniforms, logos and signage. The new prototype offers a low cost of entry and a flexible design to fit many types of sites, according to the company. Expansion through nontraditional locations is also part of the new Bennigan's focus. To that end, it has developed a new smaller footprint, fast-casual model called Bennigan's on the Fly. Set for introduction in 2012, this new concept will allow for development in airports, hotels, hospitals, cruise ships, universities and other nontraditional sites.