Bennigan's bankruptcy fallout

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 4, 2008

We follow up our brief item on Bennigan’s bankruptcy from last week with a closer look at how franchisees will deal with the fallout. We also put together a slideshow of what happened to other franchises that went bankrupt.

For more on Bennigan’s, check out Don Sniegowksi’s story over at Blue Maumau, one of the best sources of franchising news on the Web. Sniegowski reports that Dallas turnaround firm CRG Partners has been eying the Bennigan’s brand.

I also want to highlight a comment left by Squeezebox on our first item:

This is a case of "franchise buyer beware"! You buy a franchise because the corporation promises to help you succeed. You sign a contract in which the corporation promises to do certain things for the franchisee in exchange for a cut of his profits. Before you buy a franchise, look at a sampling of restaurants in the chain (you select the sample, not the parent co.). Talk to the managers, staff, and customers. If you don't like what you see, run!

Solid advice. Franchising gives the impression of making business ownership easier, but ask Bennigan's franchisees this week if it really is. For more on buying a franchise, take a look at our special report from March.

Reader Comments


August 10, 2008 12:22 AM

I have a $50.00 Bennigan's gift card how can I get my money back? I could never find one in the Detroit area


August 12, 2008 7:24 AM

there was one aat 275 and Ann Arbor Road...there is one at Fairlane Town Center...not sure how to get money back but see if those are still open. I can't find a list of open Bennigans to use my 75 dollars worth of gift cards here in Florida.


August 12, 2008 8:58 AM

are there any franchise resteraunts still open in denver? what happens to the recipies? they are the only one's that make a monte cristo correctly. and what about the kilkinney salad?


August 12, 2008 10:09 AM



August 12, 2008 10:20 AM

Jenn-If you don't mind driving to Howell, there's a great Bennigan's on E. Grand River Ave. The staff is excellent and they're always happy!


August 12, 2008 10:37 AM

Yes I have a comment!!! Listen to this: I had a slip and fall in Bennigans nearly five years ago. I have employee testimonies, and 3 Dr.s video depositions that it was due to the fall. I required 2 surgeries. When I fell I reached my arm out to catch myself, tore my rotator cuff, needed surgery for my following surgery. Then I needed a lumbar spinal fusion. Titanium rods, cage, and screws. Permanent damage. The rest of my life. Am on disability. My husband is retired on Social Security only. I had a productive life at times working 2 jobs, with 2 kids, 2 sick parents, worked in the health care field helping and saving others. Now this. There is a medical lien on our house. We have nothing left. I will need $7000.00 a yr medical follow up minimum. I am still in pain. Plus, I have had 5 years of pain and suffering. What do I do for down the road? Bennigans has been fighting me for nearly 5 years. Not paying me one single penny. Now Chapter 7. No one deserves this. It is so inhumane and cruel. We can barely pay our taxes, insurance, utilities, and groceries. Plus, I am on 23 medications. Three of them are pain pills. 2 are for all of the anxietyand extreme depression from this place. My blood sugar is rising due to the stress. 2 more meds there plus an increase in insulin. To put the icing on it, I am only 49. What am I to do? And this is the USA. Where is my help out there?


August 12, 2008 10:52 AM

get off the pain pills and find a job! You are playing the victim.


August 12, 2008 12:23 PM

FYI: In Topeka, Ks, Texas Roadhouse is allowing purchase of an entree using Bennigans Gift Card at least for a limited time. Don't know if other cities are doing the same


August 12, 2008 12:27 PM

You could have slipped and fell anywhere
That's life get over it and get a job.
I had a good fall on private property last year and got hurt pretty bad but I didn't sue anyone. I got over it. The USA doesn't owe you anything. You must be from New Orleans you sound just like them. Getting free money cost innocent people. What about them?


August 12, 2008 2:01 PM

I was a Bennigan's employee for 5+ years. First, slip and falls happen all the time, and it is a cancer on earnings. There are pro's out there that look for opportunities, and litigation costs run around 100K per year per chain restaurant in dealing with these. Most are fraudulent.

Also, upper management has a view of short term profits, new managers and unit managers are highly expendable. "Turn them out and burn them out" is the mantra. They pay them salary, then work them up to 80+ hours a week. They could care less about quality of life for these people, and in turn they develope little loyalty to the company.

It used to be a great, high value experience. Sadly, the franchisee's are the only ones that care! Good luck to them!


September 18, 2008 4:44 PM

I been going to Bennigan's all over florida,since we moved here in 78,but the last two times I went to different Bennigan's the service and food was lousy,maybe it's management's fault,because if you don't have good management and good help the quality of service goes down tube fast.That is one of reasons a lot of places go under.


October 2, 2008 8:09 AM

I have to agree with Julie, You are playing the victim. You remind me of these money hungry opportunists. That's whats wrong with the people in the USA right now. They are quick to sue for any reason thinkable. Get off the couch and get a job. Quit expecting everybody else to pay your way!!!!


January 2, 2010 12:46 AM

I agree, this woman needs to stop complaining about what everyone owes and get a job!

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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