Bennigan's to focus on pub fare post-bankruptcy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

NEW YORK (AP)

Bennigan's to focus on pub fare post-bankruptcy

Bennigan's diners can expect a bigger emphasis on booze, burgers and other bar and grill fare in the days and months to come.

That's the word today from the new owner of the bankrupt restaurant chain. Joel Holsinger is managing director of private equity firm Atalaya Capital Management. He says he plans to reposition the brand by re-establishing its place in the high-margin bar segment and by focusing on sandwiches, onion rings and appetizers.

Holsinger said Bennigan's was 1 of the most dominant casual dining brands in the early 1990s with 30 to 40% of its business coming from beer, wine and liquor sales. Those products typically sell for significantly more than they cost, helping a company boost its margins. Bennigan's was also well known for its appetizers and sandwiches.

But as the decade came to a close, that dominance eroded.

The parent company of both the Bennigan's and Steak & Ale brands filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy at the end of July under pressure to repay its debts., S&A Restaurant Corporation was owned by Plano-based Metromedia Restaurant Group. In a Chapter 7 filing, a company seeks to liquidate its assets and close its doors.

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