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Pakistani Immigrant Expands Atomic Wings Franchise in NYC

Trading a career in the corporate world for the bustling franchise industry, Fahad Samad shares his journey with Atomic Wings and his vision for the future.

Fahad Samad is no stranger to the world of business. The ambitious professional has worked as a business analyst and project manager with TOPPS and Bazooka. Five years ago, he discovered an unexpected opportunity in the realm of franchising with Buffalo, New York wing franchise Atomic Wings, introduced by a friend, Zak Omar, who also happens to be CEO of the brand. Now, after running the Atomic Wings location in Queens since 2018, Samad is looking to expand with another location and is working towards even greater development with the brand. 

Upon entering the world of franchising, Samad found it to be an engaging journey filled with collaborative opportunities. One of the primary aspects that drew him to Atomic Wings was the brand's receptiveness to feedback and communication. He appreciated the room to grow, which he believes not only helped him develop as a business owner but also made him feel valued. The support from the franchisor, coupled with the unique concept, solidified his decision to join the brand.

Now, after taking over his first location in Jamaica, NY in 2018, Samad is ready to expand his portfolio to include multiple locations throughout the city and is currently looking for the ideal location. 

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Fahad Samad: I was born in Pakistan. My family came to the U.S. 30 years ago and settled in Queens. I currently live in Flushing with my wife and two young children. My degree is in Information Science and Forensics from SUNY Oswego. I’ve traveled the world as a business analyst and project manager. I used to work at TOPPS, the trading card company. We recently split off and sold that company, so I am now working with Bazooka. 

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

SamadI’ve been in the corporate world this whole time, so franchising was really a side venture. I never imagined I would do this and had no prior experience in the food business. It was not on my radar. I was introduced to the concept through Atomic Wings CEO Zak Omar, who is a friend of mine I met through basketball organizations. I didn’t think I’d be able to afford a franchise or have the time to run it, but I was looking for additional income and Zak really sold me on the unique idea of wings. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

SamadThere aren’t a lot of franchises within the wing segment here or anywhere. There are plenty of chicken franchises but not a lot focused on wings. We thought it would be something unique that we could bring to the community. That really intrigued me. We decided to jump in from there. I took over the Jamaica, New York store in November 2018.

There is a lot of support from the franchisor team. Also, because it is a growing business, Zak allows us to provide feedback and really takes franchise owners into consideration. That helps us grow as a business and makes us feel valued. I love that kind of open communication.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Samad: Growth has been good so far. In February 2019, for our first Super Bowl Sunday, we had no idea what we were getting into. Were there many American football fans in our Muslim community? The answer was resoundingly “yes”! I’d never seen this many people in a store. We went through 45 cases of wings. It was great to watch our team work really hard. The COVID pandemic obviously really did a number on us. Initially, we did great, but the prices of wings tripled during that time. It has become more stable, and we are getting back to where we were prior to the pandemic. 

The plan was always to open another unit eventually. I briefly operated another unit in Manhattan but had to sell it as it was too difficult for me to commute there everyday. I wanted something closer to me and am currently negotiating locations for additional stores.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Samad: It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of time to grow a restaurant. Plan on spending a lot of time day-to-day within the restaurant. 

The total investment necessary to begin the operation of an Atomic Wings restaurant is $155,900 to $338,500. The total investment necessary to begin the 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


Atomic Wings was created in 1989 with a mission to share authentic New York-style Buffalo wings with the world. Now, with dozens of restaurants open in the U.S., Atomic Wings is setting its sights on nationwide growth. In addition to its existing locations in New York and Maryland, Atomic Wings has additional units signed to open in Arizona, Nevada, California, Indiana and Texas. The brand is led by owners and brothers Zack and Ray Omar, and offers customers fresh, never frozen, natural and hormone-free chicken wings hand-tossed in 14 proprietary sauces, a classic menu, a welcoming dining experience and a commitment to quality. 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.