Bennigan’s CEO Paul Mangiamele purchased the company he has led since May 2011.
The new company, Legendary Restaurant Brands LLC, is now 100 percent owner of the Bennigan’s restaurant chain, as well as its new fast-casual concept, Bennigan’s On The Fly, and the venerable Steak and Ale brand, which is about to begin its own comeback story.
Mangiamele and his wife, Gwen, who also has extensive experience in the food industry, initiated and executed the Management Buy Out (MBO) from its parent private equity firm for an undisclosed price. The transaction closed February 11.
“Everyone knows how passionate I am about Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale, and Gwen and I have never been more excited about the brands’ future than we are today,” Mangiamele says. “My committed team and I have worked tirelessly over the last four years, in collaboration with our incredible franchise partners and our loyal vendor partners, to return Bennigan’s to its rightful place as the leader of the casual-dining segment. While there’s still plenty of work to be done, it’s clear that our work is bearing fruit: The emotional connections to the brands are stronger than ever and the best is yet to come.”
As part of the MBO announcement, Mangiamele also hinted at major deals that will be officially unveiled in the weeks ahead, including Master Development Agreements for expansion in California, the Middle East, and throughout Central and South America.
“We’re in the final stages of several significant agreements that will be game changers for all our brands, and other exciting developments are in the pipeline,” Mangiamele adds. “As thrilled as I am about the Bennigan’s story, I’m equally bullish on Steak and Ale … another beloved brand whose time has come again. We’ll be announcing the first new corporate Steak and Ale restaurant very shortly.”
Once revered for its Prime Rib, warm bread, and bountiful salad bar, Steak and Ale is poised for a triumphant return. Redefined as a 21st-century polished-casual concept, while retaining the signature elements that made it an American classic, the new Steak and Ale will once again set the standard for affordable steakhouses.
Bennigan's On The Fly, a new fast-casual concept, is likewise being rolled out for smaller-footprint sites such as universities, hospitals, airports, cruise ships, and other high-traffic locations. Boasting a limited menu of Bennigan's signature dishes, this innovative brand extension offers the ultimate in real estate flexibility while capitalizing on the burgeoning demand for Bennigan’s unique combination of American fare and Irish hospitality.
“At Bennigan’s, our team is dedicated to delivering memorable dining experiences to every guest, every meal, every day, and our recent growth proves that the formula is working,” Mangiamele says. “We’ll instill our same ‘25/8’ philosophy in Steak and Ale and Bennigan’s on the Fly, and expect similar results.”
With more than 150 restaurants open or under contract worldwide, Bennigan’s is off to another year of banner growth while simultaneously redefining casual dining. Since the end of 2012, the company has opened new franchise locations in Clarksburg, Maryland; Fort Worth, Houston, and Katy, Texas; Santa Clara, California; Saddle Brook, New Jersey; Tysons Corner, Virginia; Veracruz, Mexico; Larnaca, Cyprus; and Dubai, U.A.E.
Additional restaurants are planned for California; Melbourne, Florida; Maryland; New Jersey; Tennessee; Texas and Virginia; and internationally in India, Mexico, Central America, Cyprus, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and South America.