Buffalo Wings & Rings might already be big in the Middle East, but this Cincinnati-based brand wants to make their international footprint even bigger.
Buffalo Wings & Rings
recently signed two international deals to open new locations in London and Warsaw, Poland. According to Philip Schram, the brand’s chief development officer, the goal is to open 10 new locations in London in the next decade and a minimum of 10 restaurants in Warsaw in the next five years. This expansion news marks a major milestone for the brand—opening up locations in England and Poland will be their first foray into Europe.
Schram believes Europe will be a natural fit for the brand, thanks to the region’s deep love for sports.
“Europeans love their country and their club teams—whether it’s soccer, tennis, handball, cycling or rugby. But while the love for sports is universal in the U.S. and Europe, the sports-watching culture is much different. In Europe, people generally watch their favorite games in their own homes. But by introducing our concept of the sports-themed restaurant, we hope to create a new outlet for them and an alternate way to enjoy their favorite teams,” Schram said.
Schram added that because of England’s ever-popular English pubs, a concept similar to the brand’s sports-bar model, and their eclectic mix of ethnic restaurants, Buffalo Wings & Rings will be able to easily adapt overseas.
He believes that similar notion applies to Poland, too, which boasts a culture that’s become increasingly open-minded over the past decade. When Communism came to an end in Poland in 1989, the country was suddenly exposed to new ideas, new cultures and new concepts. When scarcity gave way to an over-abundance of new products, people in Poland were eager to embrace change. This meant that certain Western staples, like sports bars and pubs, were making their way Eastward.
“As this happened, we found that people were exposed to different things, and it encouraged them to branch outside of tradition and their habits. They’re hungry for new ideas and new foods, and Buffalo Wings & Rings can offer them a new experience.
After the brand’s first international expansion in the Middle East, Schram realized that the same store design that works in the U.S. translated well abroad. For that reason, the store design in England and Poland will remain consistent with what’s seen throughout North America. The menus in Europe will introduce some minor tweaks—but the American classics will still remain. For example, pork is the main protein in Poland, so the Warsaw-based Buffalo Wings & Rings will most likely offer more items like ribs and pork tenderloin.
“In the Middle East, we found that our American staples really appealed to the younger generations. By maintaining that menu, we hope to appeal to Europe’s younger demographic, too. We’re giving them an outlet to get out of their homes and watch their favorite sports team at a restaurant where they can enjoy a meal in the company of their friends,” Schram added. “We think it’s a recipe for success.”
In the future, the company would like to continue their European expansion, and Buffalo Wings & Rings is already eyeing markets like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. Schram believes the initial stores in London and Poland will serve as the flagship locations, showing potential investors how the brand’s concept will work throughout Europe. From there, Buffalo Wings & Rings hopes to continue their expansion, and they’re already eyeing markets like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.