April 7, 2015 // Franchising.com // DALLAS – The iconic Bennigan’s brand has been gaining velocity for the last several years. Today, the company shifted into warp speed.
Legendary Restaurant Brands Chairman & CEO Paul Mangiamele announced today that he has executed an exclusive Master Development Agreement to bring up to 100 new restaurants to the State of California. Narender Taneja, franchise owner of the recently remodeled Bennigan’s in Santa Clara, is eager to satisfy the pent-up demand for the Legendary neighborhood restaurant and tavern throughout his home state.
“This is obviously a huge day, and a major milestone, for Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale,” said Mangiamele, who has directed the chain since May 2011. “Narender is an outstanding operator and business partner who shares our vision for the Bennigan’s of the future. Clearly, California is a critical market for global brands like ours, and we couldn’t have asked for better people to lead our expansion there than Narender and his son, Anshul.”
Taneja recently finalized agreements to bring two new Bennigan’s to Fremont and San Jose, Calif., which are scheduled to open in the third and fourth quarter, respectively. They will join his Santa Clara restaurant in the first wave of 100 locations that will blanket the Golden State in the years ahead. As part of his agreement, Taneja also secured the rights to sub-franchise the brands to approved operators within California.
“I’m honored to lead the re-emergence of Bennigan’s in California,” said Taneja. “Paul and his team have revitalized the brand and are setting a new standard for the casual dining sector, which is why I’ve made this major investment. There is no doubt in my mind that our strategic partnership will be a win for everyone involved, including the great people of California!”
In 2013, the Legendary brand “where every day is St. Paddy’s Day” tapped Taneja, a successful California businessman, to lead its resurgence in California. With a resumé boasting 35 years in the hospitality industry, Taneja has a broad array of experience when it comes to managing and operating franchises, both in the dining and hotel industries.
Taneja directed a complete overhaul of the legacy Bennigan’s restaurant in Santa Clara, which necessitated closing the facility for nearly three months. Notable upgrades included the chain’s newly introduced exterior design and signage prototypes, along with contemporary features such as new furniture and flooring, a welcoming outdoor dining and lounge area complete with couch seating and fire pit, 14 flat screen televisions, 20 beers on tap and much more.
But some things – like the craveable, chef-driven food, the innovative and hip beverage program and warm, friendly Irish hospitality – remain unchanged.
“At Bennigan’s, we’re dedicated to delivering memorable dining experiences to every guest, every meal, every day,” said Anshul Taneja, managing director of development for the Santa Clara restaurant. “We’re proud of our newly redesigned restaurant and we see it as a template for our expansion throughout California.” The new 100-restaurant agreement includes the company’s non-traditional, fast-casual concept, “Bennigan’s on the Fly,” which is designed for airports, hospitals and similar venues, as well as the comeback of the Steak and Ale brand.
“We think Steak and Ale is another extraordinary, iconic brand whose time has come again, and we’re excited to include it in our expansion plans,” said Taneja. “And Bennigan’s on the Fly is a perfect option for smaller footprints and for markets where non-traditional options are more desirable.”
Now with more than 150 restaurants open or under contract worldwide, Legendary Restaurant Brands LLC is continuing to experience strong growth while simultaneously redefining casual dining. Since the end of 2012, the company has opened new franchise locations in Clarksburg, MD; Houston and Katy, TX; Santa Clara, CA; Saddle Brook, NJ; Tysons Corner, VA; Veracruz, Mexico; Larnaca, Cyprus; and Dubai, UAE. Additional restaurants are planned for California, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia; and internationally in Mexico, Central America, Cyprus, Egypt, Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and South America.