bannerFranchisor Stories

How Atomic Wings Blows Away the Competition With Authentically Delicious Buffalo Wings and 14 Signature Sauces

The New York City-based wing brand’s impressive array of proprietary sauces and flavorful offerings have earned it recognition on national television and the following of an avid fanbase.

Atomic Wings began with a dream to deliver authentic Buffalo wings to the U.S. and abroad. The brand was originally conceived in 1981 by founder Adam Lippin, who couldn’t find the hot, crispy wings that he savored during his college years in Buffalo, New York. So, he spent several years perfecting the process, recipe and art behind the perfect chicken wing, and in 1989 he was able to open the first Atomic Wings location in New York City. 

As Atomic Wings’ popularity grew throughout NYC, so did the role of Buffalo wings at bars, parties and events throughout New York and the rest of the country, and Lippin soon faced a host of competitors looking to capitalize on that popularity. After experiencing huge success, Lippin saw an opportunity and focused his energy on creating wings that truly stood apart from the rest in terms of taste and authenticity. 

In 2016, Zak Omar, a successful multi-unit Dunkin’ franchisee, was inspired to expand his business portfolio after grieving the loss of his father. Omar’s parents came to the U.S. as refugees in 1980 when they fled Afghanistan's Soviet war. His first exposure to the food industry was working alongside his father's popular N.Y.C. food truck, where he served fried chicken to Wall Street workers. After graduating from Hofstra University, Zak himself worked on Wall Street as an IT specialist. While living in the Washington D.C. area, Zak was diagnosed with leukemia and returned to New York for treatment and to be closer to family. He began franchising with Dunkin’ and soon found himself looking for new opportunities.  

“My father always believed in the power of work, and he worked up until his final days — he never quit,” Omar said. “He was afraid of heights, but the very first job he took was cleaning windows on skyscrapers. That’s how dedicated he was to providing for his family. He instilled that work ethic in our whole family.”

Omar had watched his father build a thriving food truck business from scratch in New York City and saw the same opportunity in Atomic Wings. What appealed to Omar is that Atomic Wings is a true NYC company, created in his hometown. 

Omar initially considered opening his own Atomic Wings franchise location, but Lippin, after meeting Omar and learning his story, offered to sell him the entire business. Now, as the CEO, Omar is taking Atomic Wings to the next level and bringing the brand’s beloved offering to new communities across the country.

Since day one, Atomic Wings has been creating an avid customer base by serving up awesome flavors. “The flavors can’t be beat, and we’ve got something for everybody,” said Omar. Most wing shops will offer some range of heat levels and maybe two or three flavors. Atomic Wings offers 14. Omar added, “Each flavor was developed after months of research and development. Whatever kind of wing you like, we’ve got that flavor, and it’s awesome.”

The brand’s proprietary sauces include: mild, medium, hot, atomic, nuclear, Thai chili, garlic parm, chipotle BBQ, jerk BBQ, lemon pepper, teriyaki, sweet and tangy, mango habanero and honey mustard.

Beyond the sauces, Atomic Wings prides itself on the quality of its wings (both classic and boneless wings), and its process, which was directly adopted from Upstate New York, the wing capital of the world. 

The brand’s authentic wings are antibiotic- and hormone-free and cooked to perfection with a crispy outside and tender inside. “Our wings are hand-tossed in one of our signature sauces to distribute flavor with just the right amount of heat,” said Omar. “Authentic wings, and the ingredients and process behind every order, is what keeps our customers coming back for more. We aren’t just getting frozen nuggets delivered to the store. Our customers get a fresh product with great ingredients every time.”

The restaurant also offers regional menu items, combos, sandwiches, specials, and Halal wings in select locations. Customers can choose their favorite, fresh, never-frozen buffalo wings in-store, online or by phone.

“Our menu was created based on a simple principle — to share our love for authentic Buffalo wings with the world,” said Omar. “Each Atomic Wings location has a unique menu, however, you will always find the same great wings, combos and signature sauces that have made our menu a staple in New York City and beyond.”

While competitors in NYC have tried to come in and copy the brand’s sauces, Atomic Wings has always stayed one step ahead, innovating with new products to keep customers invested. For example, Atomic Wings recently set itself apart with its spiciest sauce to date — the Nuclear Sauce. 

Atomic Wings’ flavorful sauces and crispy wings are starting to generate some major buzz. The brand has even been featured on national television, including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CNN Money, CBS News and more.

Today, as the world recovers from a pandemic that upended businesses across several industries, Atomic Wings is continuing to serve buffalo wings as popular take-out fare. During COVID-19, Atomic Wings has also been interacting with hospitals and has been donating food to essential workers on the frontlines as well as soup kitchens.

Despite the pandemic, Atomic Wings has been met with fervent demand at every one of its 11 brick and mortar locations currently open for business. This is why Atomic Wings has continued to grow while restaurants across the country are being forced to close. The brand signed contracts for two additional locations to be opened this year. In total, there are an additional 16 locations set to be open in the future.

"Atomic Wings has been a trendsetter for 30 years, and I see us leading the way for 30 more," Omar says. "We want to grow aggressively beyond the East Coast while we maintain our brand integrity. The demand for quality wings isn’t going anywhere, and my goal is to take Atomic Wings across the U.S.A. and share our exciting food and flavors with more guests and wings fans."

Startup costs to open one Atomic Wings range from $170,400 to $377,355. The initial investment to begin operation of a multi-unit development business for a required minimum of three Atomic Wings franchises is between $197,400 and $404,855. For more information about Atomic Wings, please visit

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