Bennigan’s has Gone Bankrupt!


Bennigan’s was my college job and selling their O’Turkey O’Toole, Monte Cristos, O’Pastas, and Chicken Fajitas kept me in beer money. Now they have filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, so many of the restaurants in America will be closing. What does this mean for Korean Bennigan’s? Apparently nothing according to this article.

The sudden bankruptcy of the U.S. family restaurant franchise Bennigan’s and the downsizing announcement of Starbucks have consumers in Korea wondering if popular foreign chains will soon start vanishing from the domestic scene.

The chains say no, adding Asia is considered one of the most lucrative markets by upper management. This seems true according to latest developments.

Starbucks might have suffered a third-quarter loss last year, but its international revenue rose 24 percent, far higher than its 6-percent growth in the United States.

Within three years, more than 40 percent of Starbucks outlets will be outside the U.S. from 29 percent now, BusinessWeek cited a company spokeswoman as saying.

The same goes for McDonald’s. The fast food giant saw better-than-expected net profit in the second quarter thanks to strong international sales. Asia-Pacific sales jumped 8.8 percent, higher than just above 3 percent in the United States.

“I feel lucky to be part of the Asia team because we’re posting pretty strong numbers unlike other parts of the world,” said one executive of an international restaurant franchise, who asked not to be named.

So far so good, but the question is how long can it last?

I think it can last for a while, but I’m sure that many Koreans will see the news of the US failure and they will slowly start withdrawing from Bennigan’s. Koreans hate failure and I think many of them are superstitious, so they wouldn’t want to eat at an ill-fated restaurant. Also, the Korean Bennigan’s is one of the worst foreign chains in Korea. I think the food is tremendously overpriced and there is very little incentive to go there. I mean at least Outback gives you all the brown bread you can eat. I’ve found it’s like pulling teeth trying to get ONE extra tortilla for my fajitas. AND honestly, how in the heck is fajitas Irish!

I’m not going to rant and I am not going on a diatribe about how their monte cristo is the most disgusting abomination ever created. And I will not rant about all of the pasta on their menu, because we all know that pasta and Guinness go hand in hand.

Yeah….

Oh, let’s not even go into T.G.I.F’s.

Dan

Daniel Gray

Daniel Gray is a Korean adoptee and entrepreneur that returned to Korean in 2005 because he wanted to try and find his birth mother and to learn about Korean culture. He started a restaurant review blog in 2007, www.seouleats.com, that became a local and international hit. He and his blog has been featured in the New York Times, Monocle Magazine, The Kimchi Chronicles, Bizarre Foods, Rudy Maxa, Olive Magazine, Euronews and much more. He now is a partner at O’ngo Food Communications (www.ongofood.com), which is a culinary tourism and consulting company that offers Korean cooking classes and restaurant tours to travelers. In 2013, he started Brew 3.14 Pizza Pub. His food tours, cooking classes, and restaurant are ranked as some of the top attractions in Seoul according to the website tripadvisor. He lives in Korea with his wife.

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  • Cairo Mama

    I hate all those American chain restaurants where the food does not match the decor/theme. Why do they think every restaurant have to have a quesadilla, chicken wings, burgers and cream sauce pasta?

    The decorations all start to run together as well: exposed ductwork, “found” objects that are the same in every restaurant. Very annoying.

  • Daniel Gray

    I totally agree with you. the only thing Irish in the whole place is the…is…the…is…the??? Wait, I don’t think there’s anything Irish in the joint.

  • Richard

    Ah..TGIF is not in the same realm of Bennigan’s!

    Its hard to beat Jack Daniel’s sauce!!

    Actually, I took the Korean Family I stayed with for dinner there. They had me order because they had never been to TGIF (even though they live across the street from one)! So I ordered ribs, chicken, shrimp, pasta, rice. A ton of food and they loved it. Their 5 year old son turned to his mother and says something like: “Mom, I dont ever want to eat korean food again. I only want to eat american food from now on”…lol

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