Buffalo Wings & Rings has successfully merged the high-volume potential of a casual dining establishment with the simplicity of a quick-service restaurant, and it all starts in the kitchen.
“The credit comes back to our founders,” Buffalo Wings & Rings Chief Development Officer Philip Schram said. “The husband used to be a cook on a cruise boat and had a deep understanding of what a kitchen should look like for optimal efficiency. Then you have the fact that Nader [Masadeh, Buffalo Wings & Rings president and CEO) and I are both engineers – we’ve always been very driven about making the kitchen as efficient as possible. Just as important was making sure it wasn’t too complex; that creates confusion and difficulty and slows things down.”
In addition to engineering Buffalo Wings & Rings’ kitchens to be as simple and efficient as possible, the brand has also computerized its spaces, creating kitchens that utilize technology for greater speed and consistency.
Of course, the team at Buffalo Wings & Rings doesn’t do anything without a strong strategy in place, as Schram explained.
“Our success is based on repeat customers who are going to come back over and over to the restaurant,” he said. “The kitchen being designed this way prevents delays and mistakes. Customers are going to get a consistent experience every time, which makes them happy. Consistency is very important to us. The customer doesn’t care if you’re busy or not busy. They are expecting to be delivered great food quickly no matter the time of day they come.”
What’s more, the brand wanted to ensure its franchisees were able to get up and running with as few headaches as possible.
“Most franchisees come from fast-food and fast-casual, so they’re used to this kind of simple kitchen,” Schram said. “If we want to be able to attract franchisees from that world, we need to streamline things, make them user-friendly. The typical casual dining restaurant kitchen is much more complex.”
This way, even potential franchisees who have no background in food service are primed for success. Even better, however, is that this simplicity supports a restaurant with much higher volume potential than a traditional, smaller fast-food location.
It truly is the best of both worlds.