DALLAS, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bennigan's Franchising Company is progressively building upon the resurgence of the brand, and the first quarter of 2012 exceeded all expectations for the company's continued growth and Legendary comeback. During the first three months of the year, new restaurants opened in El Salvador and South Korea and there are currently 15 restaurants under development, permitting or construction. In addition, the Elgin, Illinois, location became the third to remodel to the chain's new prototype with several more restaurants undergoing renovations this year. System-wide the company celebrated St. Patrick's Day by welcoming over thousands of guests with its Legendary Irish Hospitality.
"With four months of positive same-store-sales, our team is delivering on our brand promises to bring memorable dining experiences to every guest, every day," said Paul Mangiamele, Bennigan's President & CEO. "We have a solid focus and plan to return this iconic American brand to its former glory, and our continued growth and momentum proves what we can do when we bleed green."
The 78-unit company ended 2011 with agreements to develop over 30 new restaurants. A new restaurant is under construction in Plano, Texas, with a Houston location expected to open this summer and a Dallas Fort-Worth restaurant later this year. These will be joined by additional projected openings this year in Virginia, Arkansas, Maryland, Washington DC, New Jersey and Florida, as well as internationally in Cyprus, Mexico and Dubai. Bennigan's currently has 33 domestic locations and 45 international.
All new and remodeled Bennigan's locations are putting their hand-crafted, signature American fare and Irish Hospitality front and center with improvements the company introduced after Mangiamele took over as chief executive in May 2011. The complete overhaul of the company includes menu optimization, increased operational standards, server training and local store marketing pushes, as well as a new prototype that debuted a smaller footprint, updated menus and bar offerings, uniforms, logos and signage.
"We have returned Bennigan's to its roots established 35 years ago," said Mangiamele. "Sales and unit-level profitability have increased, and we are going to continue this momentum throughout the rest of the year and beyond. Bennigan's is back."
Bennigan's Franchising Company is growing, and the new prototype offers a low cost of entry and a flexible design to fit many types of sites. Part of the company's renewed focus is looking towards expansion through non-traditional locations, such as the fast-casual model called Bennigan's on the Fly. New branding allows for development in airports, hotels, hospitals, cruise ships, universities and other non-traditional locations. The new restaurants have a smaller format and are designed to be flexible and fit different site options from end-caps and in-line spaces to free-standing pad sites.
About Bennigan's Bennigan's is a high-energy neighborhood restaurant and pub committed to creating a Legendary brand experience for every guest, every meal, every day and to be known for our remarkable people, our chef-driven food, innovative drinks and warm, friendly hospitality. The company began a Legendary comeback in 2011 by re-energizing the beloved brand with a commitment to bring memorable dining experiences to every guest, every day. This remarkable resurgence began with a brand refresh at the company's two corporate locations and a plan to bring the same menu optimization and service enhancements to all 80 U.S. and International restaurants. For more information visit www.bennigans.com.