With 13 thriving locations already open throughout South Texas, Houston is a logical next step for Buffalo Wings & Rings and its ongoing strategy to expand across the country. Once the brand creates awareness in a specific target area, the 70-unit franchise then plans where it will open locations to best set franchisees up for success. This type of targeted focus is especially important given how many territories are available within the Houston market.
“We have been extremely successful in Texas and we want to continue to share our food and family environment throughout the state,” said Philip Schram, Buffalo Wings & Rings chief development officer. “Texas is very family-oriented, which is part of what has attracted Buffalo Wings & Rings to grow the brand there. Families tend to go out to eat together more than in the Northern states. And because of the family focus of Buffalo Wings & Rings, we feel there’s a good connection between the customers and the brand.”
A brand that has proven it can fit into a multitude of markets, Buffalo Wings & Rings has found that Texas is especially suitable for growth—especially given the state’s penchant for spicy and savory cuisine. With this in mind, Buffalo Wings & Rings continues to stand out no matter where it goes. In addition to the restaurant’s delicious sauces, extensive menu and commitment to cooking with the best ingredients, the brand has also locked down its initiatives for strategic growth.
By focusing on a specific area, the restaurant builds awareness, which results in demand. Once the demand has built in a market, the brand opens its doors to an anticipatory group of consumers.
“It’s not about trying to be everywhere, it’s about cornering one market, growing there and then expanding,” said Schram, who is looking at Houston suburbs to kick off the city’s growth. “Obviously, Houston is a huge market with millions of people living there. But we’ve learned that it’s important to establish our presence before we run. It seems conservative, but really it’s strategic. We’ve seen this work elsewhere, and we’re confident that Buffalo Wings & Rings will be well received in Houston, too.”
The Buffalo Wings & Rings brand’s ideal franchisee to hit the ground running in Houston would want to operate multiple units and really grow throughout a territory. Partnering with the brand includes a franchise fee of $20,000 to $40,000, with start-up costs ranging from $2,010,000 to $3,085,000 or $1,244,000 to $1,855,000.
“We see the brand eventually opening between 20 and 30 locations in the Houston market,” Schram said. “The city holds massive potential, and our success in other Texas cities is indicative of the kind of excitement our restaurants elicit in the south.”