Feb. 11, 2020 By Kristen Torres
The longtime owner and founder of the Ben’s Kosher Deli chain announced his plans to retire and that he is looking for someone take ownership of his company.
Ronnie Dragoon established the first Ben’s location in 1972, and announced in a Feb. 3 blog post that he plans to step down from his role at the company.
“I have decided that I must take a step back from Ben’s after toiling at Ben’s since 1972,” Dragoon wrote.
“It’s hard to give up on what one has been doing for over 47 years and doing it with love…but the restaurant business is getting more difficult to navigate and the labor market is ever shrinking with less loyalty and caring,” he added.
Dragoon founded the first Ben’s deli in Baldwin, Long Island, and now operates seven locations throughout New York and Florida—employing about 300 workers. The company’s Bayside location—which is housed in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center at 211-37 26th Ave.—has been around for more than 25 years.
“The pressure is too great and becoming even greater to provide job security for so many (which has been so important to me through the years) and maintain a reasonable pay schedule with reasonable and—even generous—benefits,” Dragoon wrote.
Dragoon said he will continue to be a part of the company, just not “working behind the counter or wearing my working whites with my red suspenders,” and is still in the process of searching for a replacement.