Bennigan's Employee Honors Fallen Soldier With Facebook Memorial
Hannah Hobbs Facebook Tribute Inspires National Social Media Campaign
DALLAS, May 15, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- Hannah Hobbs, an employee of Bennigan's Borger, TX restaurant, has recently sparked the national restaurant chain to create awareness and help raise funds for the families of U.S. military personnel and wounded warriors. During the month of May, Bennigan's Restaurants will be launching a social media effort on its Facebook page entitled the "Wall of Heroes," to pay tribute to our servicemen and women.
Hobbs recently served a guest who ordered a beer for his friend who was a fallen comrade. The beer was intended to be a memorial to Navy Lt. j.g. Francis Toner IV. The guest left a note with the beer that read "In memory of Lt. j.g. Francis Toner, USN. Killed in action 27 March 2009, Balkh Province, Afghanistan. 'Non sibi said patriae' NOT FORGOTTEN!"
Without wanting to empty the beer, Hobbs finally took a photo of the memorial at the end of the night and posted it to her personal Facebook page so the image could live on forever. To her surprise, the post went viral, attracting 1,071,335 "likes" and was shared more than 96,047 times on the social networking site. Hobbs has received recognition and praise from past and present military service members, as well as from the public at large.
"I've been very surprised by everyone's reaction, as I never meant it to be more then a personal gesture," said Hobbs. "I felt taking a photo and sharing it on Facebook would keep the memorial alive. Several family and friends have served in the military, and I feel we don't do enough as a country to show our appreciation to those that put their lives on the line to keep us safe."
To extend Hobbs' gesture, Bennigan's has created the "Bennigan's Wall of Heroes" which can be viewed on their Facebook page. Guests at any of Bennigan's U.S. and International restaurants are encouraged to purchase a beer and leave a note for any member in the U.S. military, past or present. Pictures of the beer and note should be posted on the company's Facebook timeline at www.facebook.com/BennigansFanPage. In addition, Bennigan's has pledged to donate $1 for every photo posted commemorating a soldier, through Memorial Day, to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors.
"We are so inspired by Hannah's thoughtful gesture and the overwhelming reaction it has received," said Paul Mangiamele, Bennigan's President and CEO. "We hope that the 'Bennigan's Wall of Heroes' will inspire others to honor the military members who make such great sacrifice for our country. On behalf of Bennigan's, we are proud to donate to Operation Homefront to honor the memory of all of our fallen servicemen and women."
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 over the past year 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 78 current and future franchise locations. For more information visit www.bennigans.com.