As the old saying goes, “There’s no place like home,” and when it comes to franchise growth, Cincinnati-based elevated sports restaurant franchise Buffalo Wings & Rings is focused firmly on building on the momentum in their home state of Ohio. The company currently has 14 locations across the state, opening the most recent in the West Chester area of Cincinnati during May. A 15th location in Ohio is set to open by the end of the year – a corporate-owned location in the Oakley Station area of Cincinnati.
Now, Buffalo Wings & Rings is looking northward with a strategic focus on gaining a foothold in the city of Cleveland by the end of 2018. The Cincinnati-based rapidly growing elevated sports restaurant franchise sees tremendous opportunity in the birthplace of rock and roll where the corporate team believes there is potential to open up to ten locations in the years ahead.
“As you’d expect, Cleveland and Cincinnati share a lot of attributes that make them great cities for the Buffalo Wings & Rings concept,” said Nader Masadeh, CEO of Buffalo Wings & Rings. “Both cities have a fervent sports fan base, love wings and have strong family demographics. We are proud of our Ohio roots and believe there is ample opportunity with qualified franchisees in the greater Cleveland area.”
The company is charting a development course that would take the brand north, with an eye toward new franchise restaurant locations in Canton and Akron as they build a bridge from an established presence in Dayton and Columbus.
“Cleveland is our northern goal for spreading our Buffalo wings within our home state,” said Philip Schram, Chief Development Officer of Buffalo Wings & Rings. “The Interstate-71 corridor is ripe for the Buffalo Wings & Rings franchise opportunity. We believe that based on our research and population data in the greater Cleveland area market that we could be serving guests there with ten or more restaurants in just a few years down the road.”
Schram has led the market research in Cleveland, examining real estate options and making in-roads with potential partners – even meeting with the mayor of Parma to discuss the city’s culture and possible opportunities for economic development in the future. While entering the city of Cleveland proper is a part of the plan, Buffalo Wings & Rings is focused on suburban areas matching those in which the 70-plus unit brand has thrived across the U.S. Those areas include Medina, Strongsville, Brunswick, Lakewood, the Shaker Heights and Beachwood area, even Sandusky to the west and the Euclid and Gates Mills area to the east.
“Franchise operators for Buffalo Wings & Rings in Cleveland would benefit from the extensive brand recognition we have established across Ohio, with our strong presence in Cincinnati, and density of restaurants throughout the Dayton and Columbus area,” Schram said. “Not only is brand awareness a benefit, but the distribution channels that are already in place will help our restaurants thrive once we open in the Cleveland area. It really is a great time for us to grow in Cleveland.”
Schram and the team at Buffalo Wings & Rings opened four new restaurants in the first half of 2017 and are on pace to open an additional four to five locations before the year’s end.