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Ryan's contributes to DAV, introduces game room as rebranding continues

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Saturday, June 20, 2015

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Greg Beehner, blue shirt, vice president of operations for Ovation Brands, presents Preston Johnson of the Disabled American Veterans a $500 check at Ryan's . Attending the presentation and ribbon cutting are Mark Owens, left, president/CEO of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, veteran Jimmie Jordan, district marketing manager Ryan Knoblauch, red shirt, and Jeff Engst, Ryan's general manager.
 
 

Jim Fair

Greg Beehner, blue shirt, vice president of operations for Ovation Brands, presents Preston Johnson of the Disabled American Veterans a $500 check at Ryan's . Attending the presentation and ribbon cutting are Mark Owens, left, president/CEO of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, veteran Jimmie Jordan, district marketing manager Ryan Knoblauch, red shirt, and Jeff Engst, Ryan's general manager.

 

 



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Greg Beehner does the honors of the ribbon cutting for the celebration of additional branding of Ryan's in Greer, which includes a game room for guests and a military Room of Honor for veterans and active military personnel and their families.
 

Jim Fair

Greg Beehner does the honors of the ribbon cutting for the celebration of additional branding of Ryan's in Greer, which includes a game room for guests and a military Room of Honor for veterans and active military personnel and their families.

 



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The DAV trailer with red, white and blue balloons was the setting at Ryan's for a $500 Ovation Brands donation to the military organization.
 

Jim Fair

The DAV trailer with red, white and blue balloons was the setting at Ryan's for a $500 Ovation Brands donation to the military organization.

 



Enlarge photo

A game room has been added at Ryan's as part of its continued branding effort.
 
 

A game room has been added at Ryan's as part of its continued branding effort.

 

 



Preston Johnson enjoyed receiving a check for the Disabled American Veterans as much as Greg Beehner making the donation.

Beehner, vice president for operations for Ovation Brands, headquartered in Greer, presented Johnson, the commander of the DAV Chapter 39, a $500 donation Thursday at the continued branding of Ryan’s, the family-style buffet restaurant, and the introduction of a game room.

Beehner also responded to Ovation Brands’ announcement in March that it hired corporate financial advisors Duff & Phelps to assist with an evaluation of potential strategic alternatives including a sale of the business. Ovation operates 328 restaurants in 35 states, and its portfolio includes five buffet brands. 

“We are not looking at separating Ryan’s. We are not looking for an offer,” Beehner said. “We are trying to stay contemporary with the fact that …. when we first started and opened our doors (25) years ago we were the new kids on the block and it was the very unique concept of having an all-you-can-eat buffet.

“Fast forward (25) years later we are no longer a new concept, so you have to stay contemporary by our buildings being maintained. It boils down to having great food, great people and a great restaurant. And that will never change to what appeals to our guests.”

The ribbon cutting formalities took place in the Room of Honor, a room Ryan’s created for military and veterans where they can enjoy meals together. The DAV holds a monthly meeting and patrons to the restaurant often visit the room to thank the men and women of the military for their service to the country.

“You will find this literally in all of Ryan’s restaurants,” Beehner said of the DAV room honoring the military.

“I have a very soft spot in my heart for our vets and for what they have done for our country,” Beehner said. “Without the sacrifices our men and women in the military have made we would not be enjoying the freedoms we currently have today. It’s one of the things we should never take advantage.”

Beehner told a personal story that he illustrated, “Throughout the course of history, for the veterans and military, they haven’t been treated too kindly.” He told visitors how difficult it was for his brother, who was a Vietnam vet, having to hitchhike from Ft. Eustis, Va., to upstate New York to see, what was then his girlfriend, and now his wife.

Beehner’s son-in-law was killed in Afghanistan. “I didn’t tell that story,” he said.

“Our military men and women are forever personal to me and the sacrifices they have made,” Beehner said. “I think about our country and about our politicians and the fact that we go into war and unfortunately we saddle our men and women down with rules. I love our military men and women and we can never do enough for them.”

The game room, Beehner said, “Goes along with the idea that we we are a family-styled environment restaurant. It’s for our legacy guests but also our families who drive to our restaurants.

“Mom and dads can sit within eyeshot of the kids and watch as they play hoops, video games … literally we see adults playing adults, kids playing kids and it’s something that has added value to Ryan’s.”

 

 

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