Bennigan’s struggles have been no secret. A top casual-dining space back in the day, the brand filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2008. All corporate units were closed and just a few franchised units kept the iconic brand alive.

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Paul Mangiamele took the reins in May 2011 and sought to rebuild Bennigan’s. With a fresh design and a small market development strategy, the chain is growing again.

“We have distilled 43 years of experience into a franchise system that delivers proven results for the brand and resonates with the communities we serve,” says Legendary Restaurant Brands Chairman and CEO Mangiamele. “As a result, Bennigan’s is now flourishing in smaller markets that so many national brands ignore.”

In 2019, Bennigan’s formed a strategic partnership agreement with Entegra/Sodexo, designed to assist franchisee operating efficiencies and positively impact unit level economics. The tactical alignment has also introduced the Legendary Restaurant Brands portfolio to thousands of properties around the world. A ghost kitchen strategy is also in incubation.

In addition to 20% unit growth and domestic success with its new prototype, expansion is continuing. International and domestic locations are planned in Houston, Texas; Biloxi, Miss.; Orlando, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, with more than 100 additional locations under contract.