Frankie & Benny's

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Frankie & Benny's
TypeNew York-Italian 1950s themed restaurant chain
Founded1995; 26 years ago (1995)
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
95[1]
OwnerThe Restaurant Group
Websitewww.frankieandbennys.com

Frankie & Benny's is a chain of Italian-American-themed restaurants in the United Kingdom run by The Restaurant Group.[2][3] As of February 2020 it had 236 outlets nationwide.[1] It also trades on delivery services Deliveroo and Uber Eats under the virtual restaurant brands of Birdbox, Stacks, and Devonly Pies.[4]

History[edit]

Typical entrance to a Frankie & Benny's restaurant, in Swindon
Night time appearance of entrance to a Frankie and Benny's restaurant, located at Xscape, Glasgow

The backstory is that in 1924, at the age of 10, Frankie Giuliani left Sicily with his parents and moved to Little Italy in New York City.[5] Within a year of moving, the family had opened a restaurant, everybody helping with the building and the cooking in equal measure. Frankie went to the nearby high school and became lifelong friends with Benny, already a third-generation American. In the story, the business was taken over by Frankie and Benny in 1953. It combines popular American food with traditional Italian dishes.[6]

Owners, The Restaurant Group attempted to reinvent the brand in January 2017.[7] In 2019, 18 branches were closed and, in February 2020, The Restaurant Group announced that further closures were planned to take place by the end of 2021.[8]

Seven new vegan dishes were added to the menu in January 2020.[9]

On 3 June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, The Restaurant Group told employees a "large number" of its Frankie & Benny's outlets would not reopen after lockdown;[10] up to 120 restaurants were set to close permanently.[11]

Controversy[edit]

In 2014, a Frankie & Benny's customer complained after he was served a crab dish containing surimi. The item was eventually removed from the menu.[12]

In November 2015, the chain was given the lowest rating (red) in an assessment of the sustainability of its seafood products.[13]

In October 2012, a two-year-old was served an alcoholic drink instead of lime and water. The chain apologized and promised that "nothing else as bad would happen in the future". Similar happened in December 2017, when an alcoholic drink was served yet again to a four-year-old girl in the Warrington branch. A spokesman for the chain apologised for the incident which was described as a "genuine human error."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "All Frankie & Benny's Restaurants". Frankie & Benny's. The Restaurant Group. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  2. ^ "The Restaurant Group". Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  3. ^ Negus, Richard: "When trading down is affected by your good covenant" Journal of Retail & Leisure Property 6.1 (2007): page 84-91
  4. ^ Beardsworth, Luke (2019-06-28). "Restaurants accused of lacking transparency over 'virtual brands'". LancsLive. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  5. ^ "Frankie & Benny's". Frankie and Benny's. The Restaurant Group. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012. Frankie Giuliani was 10 [when in 1924 his family] left Sicily [and] moved in with relatives in ‘Little Italy’ [and] the family opened a restaurant within a year, everybody helping with the building and the cooking in equal measure. [..] Frankie went to the nearby High School and became lifetime friends with Benny, already a third generation American. In 1953 Poppa retired and Frankie and Benny took over the business, combining the best of popular American food with traditional Italian dishes.
  6. ^ "Eating Out: Frankie & Benny's in Kidderminster". Birmingham Mail. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  7. ^ Sam Dean (25 January 2017). "Restaurant Group to revamp Frankie and Benny's menu as sales plunge". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Frankie & Benny's owner speeds up closures". BBC News. 26 February 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Frankie & Benny's Introduce Meat-Free Mondays With All-New Vegan Menu". Vegan Life Magazine. Prime Impact Events & Media. 10 January 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  10. ^ Jones, Lora (2 June 2020). "Frankie & Benny's owner: Some sites won't reopen". BBC News. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  11. ^ Butler, Sarah (3 June 2020). "Frankie & Benny's owner to permanently close 120 restaurants". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  12. ^ Lawrence, Felicity (2 May 2014). "Diner is left shellshocked over crab dish". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  13. ^ Smithers, Rebecca (18 November 2015). "More than half of UK's family restaurant chains serving unsustainable seafood". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Warrington Frankie & Benny's serves girl, 4, alcohol". BBC News. 2 January 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2020.

External links[edit]