Bennigan’s Franchising Company and AXM Overseas Holdings Ltd. announced the grand opening of Bennigan's in Larnaca, Cyprus. The newest restaurant for the nearly 100-unit chain, Bennigan's in Larnaca is the fourth Cyprus location for franchise partners Chris and Andrew Axentiou.


The father and son team became Bennigan's franchisees in 2002 and own three other Cyprus locations in Nicosia, Limassol, and Protaras.Over the past several years, they have succeeded in building strong operations centered on the brand's chef-driven menu and Legendary hospitality. The Larnaca location opened on June 4 and is already attracting crowds with its high-definition TVs, projectors, and video wall to showcase sporting events.


"The Cyprus franchise team has overcome unbelievable obstacles in opening this restaurant, including construction strikes and the Cypriot financial crisis," says Paul Mangiamele, Bennigan’s president and CEO. "They have shown a strong will, tenacity, and passion to accomplish this milestone, proving the Axentiou’s bleed green, which is the fabric of what will propel Bennigan's renaissance."


The Cyprus opening is another in a growing list of accomplishments for Bennigan's, which has experienced phenomenal domestic and international growth over the past two years. Internationally, the brand recently celebrated two openings in Dubai, with plans to debut a third location this year in the United Arab Emirates and two new restaurants in Veracruz. International openings are also slated for Panama, El Salvador, and U.S. Army Base Camp Humphreys in the Republic of Korea. Stateside, the chain has agreements to develop over 30 new restaurants in the next few years in New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Minnesota, Florida, Tennessee, and Michigan.


"We are proud to be a part of the team that is rekindling a passion for Bennigan's loyal guests around the world," says Chris Axentiou, owner and chairman of AXM Overseas Holdings Ltd. "With nearly four decades of experience, compelling unit economics, and robust infrastructure to support its franchise partners, Bennigan’s is poised to continue to grow here in Cyprus and across the globe."


New and existing franchisees are benefiting from the chain's Legendary comeback, which is detailed in the new book "Bennigan's Return to Relevance…Bleeding Green 25/8.” Written by Mangiamele, the book shares the details behind the brand’s resurgence and its relentless focus on the people, food, and experience that defines Bennigan’s.


Mangiamele will be hosting a book signing in New York City on June 20 during the International Franchise Expo at The Javits Center, Booth #638. Sales from the book benefit "Operation Enduring Opportunity," a program developed by the International Franchise Association. The goal is to put 75,000 veterans and military spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors to work by 2014. The program focuses on hiring veterans as team members and recruiting them as franchise business owners.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Pizza, Bennigan's