Real Estate; commercial brokerage services, sales & leasing, development, property management construction management, finance and workout strategy.Licensed in DC, VA, MD & PA.
Auctioneer; Auctioneer - Auction sales of Real Estate,Industrial Equipment and Art.
Restaurants; site selection, lease negotiations, design, construction, operations, and sales of dozens of restaurants he has owned.
Manufacturing & Distribution; beverages, bakery products, ice cream and frozen yogurt, regionally and nationally.
Businesses Turnarounds; purchased and turned around failing business in Bankruptcy, returning them to profitability.
General Business Consulting; business evaluations, startup and development strategy, business exit strategies & sales.
Vending; created coin counting machine company with cutting edge technology and placed the machines in supermarkets for a fee. Sold the company to his main competitor.
Bensonís restaurant career started in 1975 when he teamed up with his two brothers and founded the Yummy Yogurt frozen yogurt chain. From a single store of 600 square feet (with a limited menu) Benson orchestrated the company expansion to a dozen large full-scale fast food restaurants that encompassed 5000 square feet with an extensive variety of health food products. In addition, Benson implemented a wholesale business that supplied Yummy Yogurt to over 200 supermarkets and restaurants in the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
While operating and expanding the Yummy Yogurt restaurant chain, the Benson negotiated the purchased the Real Rich Ice Cream Company, a regional franchise company with 34 franchised stores. Over the following several years Yummy Yogurt Franchise Company was formed and Yummy Yogurt Franchise Company along with the Real Rich Ice Cream Company was sold for a hefty profit.
Benson went on to design, construct, operate and sell dozens of his restaurants he created over the years while being involved with other business at the same time. By the mid 1980ís, Benson began to transition away from the restaurant business to become more involved in real estate industry.
By the late 1980ís, Benson formed a real estate and business brokerage firm, The Fischer Organization Inc. Over a period of 12 years, the firm orchestrated over 1000 commercial real estate lease and sales transactions, generating nearly $1 billion in revenues for the firmís clients.
During the real estate crash in the early 1990ís, Benson specialized in real estate workouts by representing banks, landlord and tenants. In addition to the commercial real estate activity, the firm represented a number of national, regional and local franchise companies and provided services including, site selection, lease negotiation, construction management and franchise sales.
While operating the real estate brokerage firm, in 1995, Benson created a novelty beer product, Redneck Premium Beer. Over the course of one year, the Beer Company sold millions of bottles of Redneck Beer through 275 beer distributors located in 32 states. The company was debt free only 45 days from the commencement of production. Redneck Beer, a novelty product, produced hefty profits through beer sales along with revenues derived from licensing the trademark, ďRedneckĒ to clothing manufacturers.
In 1997 Benson lead a group of investors to make a $75 million dollar bid to purchase the Palm restaurant chain, unfortunately, the deal was not consummated and in 1998, Benson purchased the corporately owned Washington D.C. Papa Johnís Pizza Delivery franchise system with 10 stores. Papa Johnís Corporation had been operating the Washington area stores at a loss for several years. Benson reorganized management, renegotiated the store leases and turned the local franchise around to become one of the most profitable franchise groups in the Papa Johnís system. Then, Benson sold the stores back to Papa Johnís for a sizable profit.
In early 2001, Benson focused his attention on the Montgomery Donut Company, which had fallen on hard times and had filed Bankruptcy due to lack of management and antiquated equipment after the death of the founder. Benson saw the opportunity to acquire bankrupt company and to modernize the antiquated company structure and culture; however, several other savvy business people did as well. To be in the position to control the outcome of the court ordered Bankruptcy sale of the business, Benson proceed to quietly purchase the bankrupt companies secured debt and the unsecured debt for 7.5 cents on the dollar. As a result, Benson controlled the outcome of the Bankruptcy sale of the business which allowed him to purchase the business for a fraction of the value.
The Company had been a staple in the rejoin since 1946 which had a large manufacturing facility and had built a wholesale network to over 2000 wholesale accounts. The company serviced; restaurants, hotels, airlines, and nearly every federal government branch including the White House, the FBI, the Senate, CIA, Old Exertive Building and the House of Representatives. In addition, the company had dozen retail outlets throughout the Washington market.
Immediately following the purchase, Benson reorganized the entire business and implemented new systems and controls which resulted in the company producing a positive cash flow within 90 days of the purchase. In addition the company name was changed to Montgomery Bakers, Inc. and began producing products other than donuts. An entire new line of bakery products were introduced for wholesale, retail, vending, food service along with a franchise program. Benson sold off the retail outlets and licensed the Montgomery Donut brand to the licensees which included supply agreements of his products. Benson also was able to negotiate a manufacturing agreement with Starbucks to produce bagels, donuts and other baked items for all of the 1000+/- Starbucks stores in the Mid-Atlantic reason. Under In less than 2 years, Benson revived the bankrupt antiquated company, ramped up sales and created a thriving profitable business.
Unfortunately, less than 2 years after the purchase of the company, an unusually heavy snowstorm caused the entire roof to collapse on the 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility which caused the company to cease operations. Benson decided not to rebuild the facility due to the extended time and cost it would take to put the company back to where it was before the roof collapsed. He chose another route, which was to utilize co-packers to produce his bakery products for his newly formed company, Montgomery Distributors, Inc.
Montgomery Distributors, Inc. was formed in 2003 after the roof collapsed on the Montgomery Bakers manufacturing facility. The new company was created to maintain the larger customers that Montgomery Bakers had and that could easily receive full truckload deliveries, rather than smaller accounts that required small daily deliveries. Using co-packers, Montgomery Distributors was more profitable than operating the old Montgomery Bakers facility that was destroyed. Benson eventually sold the supply contracts to his co-packers 2 years later.
While in a supermarket, Benson noticed a Coinstar coin counting machine that counts customers coins for a 8.9% fee. After questioning the store manager about customer usage, Benson was intrigued and began researching the coin counting business. His research revealed that Coinstar was the only company in the United States in the business of providing coin counting machines for a fee to over 13,000 supermarkets. After several months, Benson had located a company that made a superior coin counting machines normally found in banks and armored car companies. Benson then developed the remote computer system which was far superior to Coinstarís, designed the attractive kiosk display along with a business plan to compete directly with Coinstar.
Benson met with several supermarket chains and made his first deal with the Shoppers Food & Pharmacy chain in the Washington/Baltimore market. Shoppers Food & Pharmacy had Coinstar machines operating in all of the stores processing over $35 million annually in coin processing services. Bensonís offered a deal to Shoppers that doubled the commission paid by Coinstar and to provide a superior system that offered real time data from each of his Coin X Change machine.
The success of the Coin X Change program with Shoppers had a reverberating effect that resulted in Coin X Change replacing Coinstar machines in other supermarket chains.. Benson began negotiations with several other supermarket chains including chains owned by supermarket conglomerate Royal Ahold. With this news, Coinstar realized that Benson and his Coin X Change was aggressive competitor and was in a position have a financial impact on Coinstar. Coinstar purchased Coin X Change in 2007 and insisted Benson execute a non-compete agreement for 99 years.
In 2009 Benson dabbled in the restaurant business once again and opened a fact casual restaurant in Crystal City Virginia, known as Slice N Dice. He ultimately sold the restaurant to explore the full service restaurant bar business.
In 2013, Benson opened a 6000 square foot full service restaurant & bar in Potomac, Maryland with a 1940ís theme dedicated to his Grandfather, Benny Bortnick who was a well know athlete and businessman in Washington DC from the 1930-1950ís. Benson sold the restaurant after operating it for 3 years.