Search


Subscribe to AFM


Subscribe to AllFinancialMatters
by Email

All Financial Matters

Promote Your Page Too

The American's Creed

Site Sponsors

Books I Recommend


AFM in the Media


Money Magazine May 2008

Real Simple March 2008

Blogroll (Daily Reads)

« | Main | »

R.I.P. Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale

By JLP | July 30, 2008

I read ($) today that the parent company for Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale have shut down all company-owned locations. It doesn’t surprise me one bit. The last time I went to Bennigan’s it was dirty, the seats had rips in them and the food wasn’t very good. Not a recipe for a successful restaurant. If they can’t keep the main part of the restaurant clean, how am I to expect the food prep area to be clean? Scary thought. My experience with Steak and Ale wasn’t much different.

It’s sad but it was time for these restaurants to say goodnight and close their doors forever.

The article I read did say that franchised Bennigan’s were still opened but who knows for how long. It seems like the franchisees are out of luck.

So far this year the following restaurant chains have filed for bankruptcy (but are trying to remain open):

Vicorp Restaurants’ Bakers Square and Village Inn
Buffets’ Old Country Buffet

Who’s next?

Topics: Business News | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “R.I.P. Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale”

  1. Jeremy Says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Hopefully the next to go are Applebee’s, Chili’s, TGI Friday, and Ruby Tuesday.

    As long as Ruth’s Chris, P.F. Chang’s, and Famous Dave’s stay open, I’m all set :D

  2. Julia Says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Sounds like my experience at Olive Garden yesterday. *shudder*

    I LOVE Famous Daves! Especially since there isn’t one anywhere near where I live.

  3. PDamian Says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    The last time I set foot in a Bennigan’s was about three years ago. My family and I were shown to a booth that hadn’t been properly cleared. The table was filthy and the rug underneath was covered with ground-in food. My SO asked if we could sit somewhere else, and the hostess said that all the booths were the same. We made tracks out of there.

    The author of the article is right: there’s very little differentiating Bennigan’s from Applebee’s, Chili’s, TGIFridays, and so forth, and consequently very little reason for customers to remain loyal. We could probably lose all of the above and make do with a few Cracker Barrels and Shoney’s restaurants.

    Old Country Buffet has to stay, though. I recently moved to the rural Midwest from a large city. I’ve been told by a number of people that Old Country Buffet is a godsend if you’re a farming or working-class family with 3+ kids and you need to feed growing boys and girls on a budget. My neighbor raised four boys; she says that the amount of food teenaged men can eat is astonishing. Old Country Buffet let the family eat out from time to time without breaking them and still managed to fill up her sons’ bellies. It may not be anyone’s idea of fine dining, but I’m all for cheap eats for the family and a night away from the stove for Mom.

  4. Mark Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    My wife and I visited Steak & Ale at least once a month because of its quite, romantic atmosphere and good food. It was always such a great place to unwind and relax. Very sad that it closed and feel badly for the employees. Last night we went to a Texas Roadhouse for steak and the food was okay however the atmosphere was horrible. Very loud and so many kids I thought it was a pre-school! Nothing like the experience we wanted.
    Anyone have an idea of where to have a nice relaxing, romantic meal without having to spend “Ruth Chris” prices? Applebee’s , Ruby Tuesday and the like are not what I have in mind.

    We will miss Steak & Ale!

  5. Mike Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Bummer.. I remember back when I was a teen that Bennigan’s was “the” place.

  6. KC Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I avoid chain places like the plague. The only one I will eat at is Olive Garden, but its too hot for pasta right now. There are just too mane good local restaurants that have incredible food and good service. Last time I went to an Applebees was during a snow storm (we had 3 inches and everything closed) – all they had was fried food – there was nothing on the menu that appealed to me. Chain restaurants are for the birds.

  7. sam Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    We don’t have any Bennigans or Steak and Ale in the Salt Lake area, so their demise won’t affect us any. But sorry to see whole chains close.

  8. cyrus Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    As a former employee of the Memphis

    S&A restaurant, there was no question in the lack of corporate knowing full well that the business was going under.I have read comments all ove rthe web.They all are correct.Metromedia allowed the stores to fall apart, they would not provide money for needed repairs or maintenance.Thanks for blowing ten years of my time.

  9. Kathy Says:
    August 26th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    I worked at Steak and Ale in the 1980s for about 9 years and it had remained a favorite of mine over the years after my employment ended. The food was always consistent with the most stringent guidelines for freshness.In fact, it had the only salad bar that I would ever visit. I will miss this restaurant and all that it stood for. I was new to the South Bend, IN area when I began working there and have lasting friendships rooted in that time, I even met my husband there! What a loss to this area.

  10. Kathy Says:
    August 26th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I worked at Steak and Ale in the 1980s for about 9 years and it had remained a favorite of mine over the years after my employment ended. The food was always consistent with the most stringent guidelines for freshness. In fact, it had the only salad bar that I would ever visit. I will miss this restaurant and all that it stood for. I was new to the South Bend, IN area when I began working there and have lasting friendships rooted in that time, I even met my husband there! What a loss to this area.

  11. robert Says:
    September 4th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    as i remembered in the past back in the late 1970s and 80s me and my family would go to steak and ale to eat dinner i liked the dimness in the restaurant and the atmosphere was very relaxing and i liked the music i havent ate in steak and ale since back in 1999.i feel bad now because i didnt eat at steak and ale since then i hopen that they build another simular restaurant thats like steak and ale especially with the dimmed lights which to me made me feel relaxed when i ate at steak and ale.im sorry to hear about steak and ale closing down.

  12. saddened Says:
    September 6th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I was also an employee at one of the Steak & Ale restaurants. Will never see our last 2 weeks’ worth of pay, and the last checks we did see and get to deposit or cash were later taken back out of our accounts, putting many of us into the negatives. Some thanks for 8 years of true love and dedication to the place, huh? =( I will miss my S&A family greatly and all of the people who came in and kept the restaurant alive for over 40 years…yes, even you, first-cup-out-of-the-coffee-pot guy. =)

  13. Alex Says:
    September 7th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    I will miss Steak and Ale.I worked there back in the late 1970’s.Never knew one could be paid so low for such hard work but I guess that will be always the case for the restaurant business.I hope, as well, that there will be someone else who will copy there business model.

  14. Pat Says:
    November 5th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    I really loved to go to Steak and Ale.The food was delicious, the employees were nice, and I never have tried a better bread.
    Does any one have the recipe of their bread???
    Pat

  15. Blake Butler Says:
    May 11th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Beef steak has always been my all time favorite dish and i am always looking for some new recipes that has steak as the main ingredient.”’

Comments