Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Crisp Innovation Best of Flavor 2017

Lina’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich Fried chicken breast, pepper Jack, Sriracha aïoli, coleslaw, brioche roll

Paul Mangiamele, President, CEO Bennigans

Bennigan’s has been serving up its signature chicken tenders for more than 40 years. And like a true heritage brand, this casual concept knows better than to tinker with a guest favorite. But it also understands that menu innovation is paramount in keeping a long-lasting brand fresh and exciting. With that in mind, the restaurant has tested a flavor-packed fried chicken sandwich, and is now moving it into a limited-time offer.

Lina’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich stars a hand-breaded, gently fried chicken breast coated in a “secret” tempura batter. It’s topped with pepper-Jack cheese, a drizzle of Sriracha aïoli and a finish of savory coleslaw, served on a brioche roll. “The tempura batter isn’t heavy,” says Paul Mangiamele, CEO and Chairman. “It’s light and airy, not greasy, so you get a nice fried crispiness. We tried using our famous chicken tenders but it wasn’t cohesive. The breast worked better here. The coleslaw and aïoli add a sweet, spicy tartness that comes together beautifully.”

This sandwich is a natural extension for Bennigan’s, he says, pointing out that casual concepts don’t always need to get unnecessarily adventurous. “Instead of being all things to all people, stay within your niche,” he says. “For us, casual dining is about a great burger, great sandwiches, great fries. It’s about quality, portion and value. We’ve refreshed the menu, infusing more flavor, making it more chef-driven. Our strength is through the emotional connection we make with our guests.”

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