They say that everything’s bigger in Texas, and Buffalo Wings & Rings, the elevated sports restaurant franchise out of Cincinnati, is offering a big opportunity to would-be franchisees in Harlingen. The company is looking for the right investor to take on approved real estate in a prime area of the growing Texas city to build a new BW&R. Harlingen represents the last market available throughout the southern tip of Texas, as all other markets from Rio Grande City east to McAllen and down south to Brownsville are claimed and nearby markets are already sold for future development.
“The Rio Grande Valley has been very receptive to Buffalo Wings & Rings since we entered the market and we have opened six restaurants along the border since while selling all of the areas nearby except for Harlingen. We have several great locations scouted in Harlingen and all we need is the right local entrepreneur who wants to realize his or her dream of business ownership,” said Philip Schram, Chief Development Officer for Buffalo Wings & Rings.
There are 13 Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurants across Texas, seven of which are clustered along the southern tip of the state. The company has grown and thrived in that area behind successful franchisees like Ismael and Nereyda Cantu who own the location in Brownsville, just south of Harlingen.
"I'd always wanted to open my own restaurant. When I found out about Buffalo Wings & Rings, I instantly fell in love with their menu and the casual, family-friendly atmosphere at their locations. I feel like the quality of the menu at Buffalo Wings & Rings is unparalleled in the sports restaurant segment and really sets the brand apart from other competitors,” said Ismael Cantu.
Ismael grew up in Mission, TX and graduated from the University of Texas A&M in Kingsville in 2000. After graduation, Ismael was a P.E. coach and math teacher in La Joya, Texas and his wife, Nereyda, was a school counselor in town.
The couple opened a daycare in 2007 in Palmview, Texas where they currently reside. They started with around 50 kids and have steadily expanded out the business over the years, now with 115 children enrolled.
In 2011, both of them left their teaching jobs to work full-time on the daycare. In 2012, Ismael started searching for concepts within the restaurant sector and found a fit with Buffalo Wings & Rings. Ismael now handles the day-to-day operations at the Brownsville Buffalo Wings & Rings while his wife manages the daycare.
"We knew Buffalo Wings & Rings would be a good fit for Brownsville because it's a very close-knit, family-oriented community. We're focused on becoming more of an active partner through partnerships with the local high school’s athletic department and the Boys & Girls Club in town,” said Ismael Cantu.
That commitment to providing a family-friendly experience and giving back to the local community is a key characteristic that Schram and his team are looking for in new Buffalo Wings & Rings franchisees.
“Brand awareness is strong in the area and our reputation is solid due to the work that Ismael and Nereyda have done in operating their Brownsville restaurant to the standards we hold ourselves to at Buffalo Wings & Rings. We are outperforming our competitors in the area and there is strong consistency between our restaurants which have all been upgraded to our newest model in the last few years,” said Schram. “Right now, we know of several vacancies in the Harlingen market where, based on our research and analysis, the concept can perform very well. The oil industry is strong, infrastructure is solid, the population is growing, and we want to be there to provide the people of Harlingen with an elevated sports restaurant experience.”
Those in the greater Harlingen area interested in the Buffalo Wings & Rings franchise opportunity should have liquid capital of $300,000 or higher and a net worth of at least $1-million. Investment to open a Buffalo Wings & Rings franchise ranges between $1.2-million and $3-million.
Buffalo Wings & Rings boasts more than 75 locations across the globe and just ended a successful 2017 where the company hit the $100-million mark for domestic system-wide sales for the first time while also growing restaurant count by more than 10 percent.