Bennigan's Launches Online St. Patrick's Day Playgrounds for Customers

Microsite and MySpace tools targeted to online audience

January 18, 2008 // Franchising.com // PLANO, Texas – The world's largest St. Patrick's Day party now has an online headquarters. Bennigan's Grill & Tavern has launched a microsite [www.InnerLeprechaun.com] complete with countdown widgets and dancing leprechauns as well as a MySpace page [myspace.com/bennigansleprechaun] all designed to help fans of the casual dining chain find their "inner leprechaun."

"We believe this is a first in the casual dining industry," said Flynn Dekker, senior vice president of marketing for Metromedia Restaurant Group (MRG). "The microsite and MySpace pages allow us to reach new customers and loyal patrons so that everyone can experience the fun side of the brand."

The sites, developed by Bennigan's agency of record, St. Louis-based Propaganda, Inc., introduce leprechaun "Fergus Dargle," and offer an array of ways to engage viewers with tools, resources, videos, viral emails, mobile texts and interactive games such as the Lepregram.

"The Lepregram allows our customers to download their photos onto the body of a leprechaun," said Dekker. "Each Lepregram can be customized with its own backdrop, music and message. Lepregram senders then receive email incentives that we anticipate will drive guests into the restaurant."

Since 2006, Bennigan's opt-in database has grown to include more than 650,000 subscribers who receive regular emails and online coupons. Dekker says the two new web sites are a natural extension of these initial online efforts.

"Bennigan's recognizes the value of social networking and tapping into the online community, particularly the online viral world," said Dekker. "There is a rapidly growing world of consumers who prefer to receive their marketing messages through email and the Internet. And increasingly, these messages need to entertain and engage the person."

The microsite also features a link for Blarney Blast, Bennigan's St. Patrick's Day celebration. Here viewers can download St. Patrick's Day wallpaper, a countdown widget and purchase apparel.

"Through the MySpace page Bennigan's appeals to guests who spend time online by offering incentives and experiences unique to Bennigan's," said Dekker.

The microsite and MySpace also link to the main Bennigan's home page [bennigans.com], which offers links to the restaurant's latest promotional menu, TV spots, mobile text alerts and InnerLeprechaun.com.

About Bennigan's Grill & Tavern
Since 1976, Bennigan's has been offering customers a diverse food and drink menu with an Irish influence in a classic grill & tavern setting. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Bennigan's has over 310 locations in 10 countries, and is owned by Metromedia Restaurant Group (MRG), one of the world's leading multi-concept table-service restaurant groups. Other MRG concepts include Steak and Ale, Ponderosa Steakhouse, Bonanza Steakhouse and The Plano Tavern. Additional information on Bennigan's is available at www.bennigans.com.

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