PLANO, TX-Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern will add another 30 restaurants to its chain in 2006, topping the 21 restaurants it opened in 2005 that more than doubled the number of locations it opened just one year earlier. The 30 new locations for 2006 will open in conjunction with the company’s 30th year of operation.

“We’ve had an incredible year, and we only expect it to get stronger in 2006 as we continue to focus on worldwide growth,” Vince Runco, president of worldwide franchising for Bennigan’s said in a statement announcing the company’s expansion plans.

With 310 restaurants worldwide, including 40 international locations, the Plano, TX-based Bennigan’s is rapidly expanding its presence on domestic and international restaurant scene. Last year alone, the company expanded into new markets with locations in Lincoln, Neb., Wake Forest, N.C., and Hot Springs, Ark., among others and introduced its first express and airport location at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Internationally, Bennigan’s gave a nod to its Irish roots with the opening of two locations in Ireland and expanded its brand in South Korea, where it has 26 locations, six of which were opened this year. The firm also opened restaurants in in India, Bahrain, Cyprus, Greece, El Salvador and Mexico.

“Through new markets, both at home and abroad, Bennigan’s has reached a new audience for our brand,” said Runco. “And the response has been overwhelming. Not only has it made 2005 a good year, but also it has energized us for the bigger year that awaits. We expect our 30th anniversary to be one of our best years for franchise development, and our guests can expect our visibility to continue to grow.”

Founded in 1976, Bennigan’s is owned by Metromedia Restaurant Group, which has more than 800 Bennigan’s, Steak and Ale, Ponderosa Steakhouse, Bonanza Stakehouse and Plano Tavern locations in both the United States and overseas.

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