On March 27, 2012, a man walked into Bennigan’s in Borger, Texas, bought a beer and wrote a note in memory of a fallen soldier, his friend LTJG Frankie Toner. It was the third anniversary of Frankie’s death in Afghanistan, and the man asked that the beer and note be left on the bar that night to honor Frankie’s sacrifice.
The bartender was so touched by this gesture, she took a picture and posted it on her Facebook page. The photo went viral and quickly caught the attention of the Bennigan’s home office. Guests across the country were later invited to do the same for their military heroes. Thus began Bennigan’s Wall of Heroes.
The tradition continues this summer as Bennigan’s honors the millions of brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Once again, guests will be invited to recognize a military hero in their life at their neighborhood Bennigan’s. The campaign, which kicks off on Memorial Day (May 27th) and runs through September 8th, will also generate donations to the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, a leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding the lives of severely wounded veterans of the War on Terror.
“Everyone at Bennigan’s recognizes the sacrifices made by America’s veterans and those still in harm’s way in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Korean peninsula and all across the globe,” said Bennigan’s President & CEO Paul Mangiamele. “Our Wall of Heroes initiative developed organically through a simple, yet poignant, act by one of our guests. Our entire domestic system immediately embraced it, so we wanted to make it even bigger and better this year. We’re excited about teaming with our guests to raise a toast to thousands of heroes and supporting a great cause at thesame time.”
This year, Bennigan’s is inviting guests to purchase a drink in honor of anyone that is currently serving or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces. They are then asked to write a message on a Wall of Heroes notecard supplied by their server, take a photo of the drink and the message, hashtag the photo with #WallofHeroes and upload it to Twitter or Instagram. Guests may also email the photo to email@example.com.
For every #WallofHeroes photo uploaded, Bennigan’s will donate $1.00 to the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.
Guest photos will be posted to Bennigan’s Wall of Heroes gallery at www.WallofHeroes.org. In addition, stories of true American heroes will be posted online throughout the campaign. Direct, tax-deductible contributions to the Coalition can also be made through the site.
“We think the Wall of Heroes campaign is truly inspired, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Bennigan’s for its generous support of our wounded veterans,” said David Walker, President & CEO of the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. “Too many men and women return from Iraq and Afghanistan every day broken in mind, body and/or spirit, yet so little support is provided to them. The Coalition is making a direct impact on thousands of these patriots, and Bennigan’s support will enable us to serve even more.”
Wall of Heroes is just one of Bennigan’s veteran-focused initiatives. Since he was recruited in 2011 to lead the iconic brand back to its former glory, Mangiamele has instituted a program that waives the company’s franchise fee for all qualified and honorably discharged veterans. Operated through Bennigan’s membership in the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program, the franchise incentive offers a total savings of approximately $35,000 and runs through the end of 2013.
In addition, Bennigan’s is proud to offer a 10% discount to all U.S. veterans and active duty service members at participating locations through December 31, 2013. (Military ID required. Not valid on alcohol.)
The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Leesburg, VA, has provided an invaluable lifeline to thousands of America’s wounded veterans since its establishment in 2004. The Coalition is distinguished from other veteran-focused organizations by its direct financial and in-kind assistance to America’s wounded heroes. Its Emergency Financial Aid program has stopped foreclosure proceedings on veterans’ homes and kept their vehicles from being repossessed. The organization regularly provides gift checks to cover meals, medical and utility bills, clothing, car repairs and even baby diapers. For more information, and to learn how you can
support its mission, visit www.saluteheroes.org.
Bennigan’s is a high-energy neighborhood restaurant and tavern that is redefining casual dining. With chef-driven food, innovative drinks and warm, friendly Irish Hospitality, this Legendary brand delivers memorable dining experiences to every guest, every meal, every day. Every member of the team “bleeds green” and demonstrates a 25/8 focus to support its franchise community. The company’s revolutionary comeback has introduced a new generation of Bennigan’s that reflects the brand’s history and pays respect to its rich heritage. Bennigan’s focus on reinvention, flexible prototypes,innovative food, Legendary service and other sales-generating initiatives has resulted in explosive growth both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit www.bennigans.com or call 855-GOT-BENN.