Posted by Dale Buss on September 2, 2011 03:33 PM
Double dip or a single dip with sprinkles on it, the recessionary feeling of the economy is something that Americans may be getting used to. And increasingly, quick-serve and fast-casual restaurant brands are adjusting to this "new normal" and simply trying to do business in spite of it, instead of assuming that better days are ahead.
Take Bennigan's. One of the original definers of the modern fast-casual restaurant segment, the 80-unit chain knows a thing or two about hard times, and by its own admission the Irish pub chain had grown rather stale and lifeless. It filed for bankruptcy-court protection in 2008, closed its corporate-owned stores across the US, and last November relaunched under new ownership. And certainly the three-year slump in the restaurant industry hasn't helped.
But instead of crying the blues, the Dallas-based chain, which now operates about 100 stores in the US and internationally is bringing out the green: It is launching a deep overhaul that includes re-connecting with the Irish green that was a key part of the optics of the original Bennigan's brand.Continue reading...