bannerFranchise News

Franchise Interviews Podcast: Atomic Wings CEO Zak Omar

Omar discussed the brand's focus on high-quality and franchisee support, emphasizing the importance of thorough research and passion when considering franchise ownership.

By Chris IrbyCopy Editor
SPONSORED 8:08AM 07/09/24

In a recent episode of his Franchise Interviews podcastMarty McDermott sat down with Zak Omar, CEO of Atomic Wings, to discuss his journey with the fast-casual chicken wing concept.

Atomic Wings was founded in 1989 with the mission of sharing authentic New York-style Buffalo wings with the world. However, Omar didn’t become involved with the brand until 17 years later, when he and his father and brother — who were Dunkin’ Donut franchise partners — went looking for a way to expand their portfolio.

“We liked the food … You don’t want to sell something that you’re not a believer in,” Omar said. “We approached Atomic Wings and … the CEO, Adam Lippin, was burnt out,” Omar said. “He was a college kid who started the brand out of college … He was interested in selling the brand in 2016, and that’s when I purchased it from him.”

According to Omar, Atomic Wings is committed to quality, frying its wings overnight for 24 hours before preparing them and frying them fresh-to-order a second time. However, it’s Atomic Wings’ dedication to its franchisees that Omar feels truly sets the brand apart.

“We’re one of the rare franchises that are run by franchisees, so we’re very cognizant of the paint points our franchisees feel,” said Omar. “When we do our construction plans and we’re doing our rebranding and things of that sort, [we] make sure that we’re putting our ‘franchisee goggles’ on and looking at it from their perspective as well.”

The chicken wing market is strong and only looks to get stronger. Omar confirmed that wings are the second-most requested item, after pizza, on third-party platforms like DoorDash and Uber Eats. “It’s a $55.6 billion market,” he said. “Over the last five years, we’ve seen growth of 8.5% in the wing industry, so it’s a market that continues to grow.”

With that in mind, Atomic Wings plans to grow to 300 locations over the next five years, with a focus on expanding in Maryland and Texas.

As for those who are considering investing in a franchise of their own, Omar recommends digging deep during the due diligence and getting the “nitty gritty” from the other franchisees. 

“Franchisees will give you an honest answer if you ask them,” he said. “Don’t go by what the corporate brand is telling you — they’re going to paint a pretty picture — but speak to the franchisees … ask them how many hours they work, ask them how many employees they have, how much time they spend on the business, what their margins are, what their food costs are — all those things are very important. And once you do your due diligence, you’re going to make an informed decision. You’re going to be a lot happier with your decision moving forward.”

Watch the original podcast here.

The total investment necessary to begin operation of an Atomic Wings restaurant is $155,900 to $338,500. The total investment necessary to begin operation of a multi-unit developer business for a required minimum of three Atomic Wings franchises is $197,900 to $381,000. For more information, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.