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NRN: Why Atomic Wings went bigger (and boozier) for its new store prototype

The New York City-based wing franchise is focusing more on on-premise dining, with more seats, alcohol and TVs to encourage guests to linger longer.

Atomic Wings, a New York City-based wings concept, has unveiled a new store prototype that diverges from the common post-pandemic trend of smaller store footprints and increased off-premises options. Instead, Atomic Wings is expanding its presence with larger stores that encourage dine-in experiences. The first of these new prototypes recently opened in Greenfield, Indiana. 

“We have about 40 seats in these locations, whereas our stores in Manhattan and Queens barely have 10, so we’re trying to aim for more of a dine-in element,” Atomic Wings CEO Zak Omar told NRN. “What we’re seeing so far out of Greenfield is that people are really enjoying the atmosphere and coming in with their families and their children.”

The new Atomic Wings locations, ranging from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet, are primarily targeting suburban areas in the Midwest, as well as continued growth in New York and New Jersey. Additionally, the new locations will serve alcohol for the first time.

“I'm sure you've heard of beer and wings, right?” Omar told NRN. “We figured if we're going to kind of capitalize on that dine-in element, why not offer that for that family so that the entire family can come in, so the parents can partake in adult milkshakes while their children have a regular one … We want people to start coming back inside our lobbies and filling them up.”

In addition to the new store design, Atomic Wings is expanding its menu to include items beyond its traditional wings. The introduction of the brand’s first-ever spicy chicken sandwich, along with barbecue and chicken buffalo ranch varieties, aims to offer more options for repeat customers. The company, which currently has about 26 stores and 150 more agreements signed, is positioning itself to be known for a broader range of offerings while maintaining its core identity built on wings.

“We want to be known for more than just wings,” Omar told NRN. “Our wings are great and that's what we built their name on, but we have a lot more to offer … we just feel like we needed a wider offering to capture more repeat customers. If you have wings once a week, now you can have wings one day, and a sandwich the next, or come in for a milkshake when it gets hot out.”

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