Legendary Restaurant Brands is reviving Bennigan’s, a restaurant franchise known for its Monte Cristo sandwiches that went bankrupt in 2008.
The brand will open as Bennigan’s on the Fly in Peoria, a more convenient to-go option, thanks to franchisee Leo Nguyen, according to Legendary Restaurant Brands’ Chairman and CEO Paul Mangiamele. Other made-from-scratch signature items include half-pound Prime burgers and the trademarked Death by Chocolate dessert and milk shake.
“I was searching for a well-established and renowned brand to join, and Bennigan’s unique culture and visionary strategy jumped out at me,” said Nguyen, who is looking at a Scottsdale location as well.
“I was drawn to their highly personal yet extensive support and training. Coupled with their franchise model and compelling unit economics, Bennigan’s became the clear-cut winner for me. The guidance Bennigan’s has provided throughout this process really makes me believe there’s never been a better time to be a part of the Legendary franchise family.”
Legendary Restaurant Brands also includes The Fly and Steak & Ale. Mangiamele says Bennigan’s on the Fly and Bennigan’s new design is a fit for primary and secondary markets.
“I love our team, but Leo is a perfect fit for our franchise family,” Mangiamele said. “He has a passion for what he’s done. He volunteered to go through the general manager training. Leo wants to learn everything about Bennigan’s and Bennigan’s on the Fly.”
Mangiamele is hoping to open Bennigan’s on the Fly in late summer, early fall at Lake Pleasant Parkway and Hatfield Road.
“We adapt the menu to the size of the space,” Mangiamele said. “When you get into the polished, fast-casual category, people have expectations of getting food quickly. We not only provide a very high level of service and food quality, but we have this program ABCD—going above and beyond the call of duty. Beverages and menu items will be delivered in an acceptable period of time.”
Bennigan’s went bankrupt in 2008 due to poor management and leadership, Mangiamele said. They were more focused on the real estate than the brand.
“The demand for our made-from-scratch trademark quality food has been very strong. It’s what prompted my wife and I to purchase the brand back in 2015,” Mangiamele said.
“It had nothing to do with the brand falling out of favor. The corporate locations closed. Arizona was a corporate market. That’s why they disappeared. The brand identity was really strong. There’s an emotional connection to the brand. I hear it everywhere.”