DALLAS, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Restaurant and retail franchising veteran Paul M. Mangiamele has joined Bennigan's Franchising Co. as President & CEO. Mangiamele takes the reins from David Goronkin, who will be leaving at the end of this month to become President & CEO of a large multi-brand restaurant company.
Mangiamele, 58, previously served as President & CEO of Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, a fast casual Mexican chain. At Salsarita's - which marked his return to the restaurant industry after serving as a senior executive at two international franchising retailers - he led operations, sales and unit economic improvements that positioned the chain for accelerated multi-state expansion.
The high-energy leader plans to blend the best of Bennigan's storied past with the exciting new re-engineering and enhancements the brand's new owners have made over the past two years.
"We're embracing the past yet unlocking the value, vibe and energy that originally made Bennigan's among the best brands in the casual theme space," said Mangiamele. "It's all about providing legendary service, craveable food, and creating a fun, exciting atmosphere that guests rave about. We're firing up growth and are absolutely committed to returning this iconic brand to its rightful place at the top of casual dining."
With about 100 restaurants open and under development in the U.S. and 10 other countries, Bennigan's has updated most aspects of the concept, including menus, bar offerings, uniforms, logos and other brand identity elements. In late 2010 a new company-owned prototype opened in Appleton, WI, officially ushering in the changes and shifting to a neighborhood bar focus.
"Bennigan's is back on track and Paul is the right leader to take the company forward," said Goronkin. "As tough a decision as it is to leave, I'm confident that Bennigan's future is bright and that the brand is in great hands."
Mangiamele brings a strong background in retailing in addition to his deep experience in the restaurant industry, where he began his career and held leadership positions at several different companies. Prior to Salsarita's he was Chief Operating Officer & EVP for Sports Clips, Inc., the 600-unit sports-themed hair salon chain. During his tenure the chain added nearly 400 locations.
Previously Mangiamele was VP, Business Development for Regis Corporation, the world's largest owner/retailer of hair salons with 57 brands and more than 10,000 locations operating in 14 countries. Before than he was VP of International Operations for a 1,700-unit chain of educational learning centers.
Earlier in his career Mangiamele led The Original Roadhouse Grill for Buffets, Inc., where he served as Concept Head & VP, Operations. He also was President & CEO for Carlson Companies' Dalt's Classic American Diner chain. He was also VP of Global Development for Metromedia, where he led aggressive franchise development for Bennigan's and other brands that were then part of the company's portfolio.