For the Barton’s, franchising has always been a family affair. More than two decades ago, Amy Barton broke into the franchising industry and opened her first Subway. Since then, she’s expanded to 18 locations and has created a successful career with the dominant sandwich brand. After seeing the growth potential and proven model that franchising offered Amy, father-son duo Steve and Mike Barton headed down the same path, looking for a full-service restaurant concept that offered a casual community space.
“Our developer actually recommended Buffalo Wings & Rings because it was the upscale, sports dining atmosphere that we were looking for. We soon traveled to the Buffalo Wings & Rings location in Omaha - the only one in Nebraska at the time - and instantly fell in love with the food,” says Mike Barton. “A week and a half later we traveled to corporate and invested in the brand after falling in love with the team, their values and how they ran the company,” says Mike Barton.
The Barton’s opened their first location in Lincoln in 2013 just a few blocks away from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and Memorial Stadium - the home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. As the second restaurant is in a more residential part of Lincoln, the team underwent training to be successful in both business climates and get a refresh in protocol ahead of the fall 2017 opening.
“With our first restaurant, it’s so event driven due to the close proximity of the stadium, so I’m used to the sudden influx of people during those days. For this second location, Buffalo Wings & Rings sent a full training team to Lincoln for three weeks to help with the transition and make it as smooth and seamless as possible. That’s what’s great about the Buffalo Wings & Rings corporate team - even after your first store, they provide continued support and training to guide you through the differences and adjustments that come with expansion” says Mike Barton.
This commitment to its franchisees has helped to fuel Buffalo Wings & Rings nationwide growth. With more than 75 locations in the U.S. and abroad, the leading sports restaurant franchise is focused on developing into new markets and expanding its presence in towns where there’s untapped opportunity for growth. With only two locations in Lincoln and one in Omaha, the state of Nebraska is a key state for expansion heading into 2018. In particular, Highway 80 through Nebraska heading to Denver is a focus and the city of Omaha, which can add two to three new locations over the next five years.
"The demographics throughout Nebraska match our target customer; they have the right family structure in place; they have strong sports allegiances and are fervent sports fans. In South Dakota we have two locations and we have two - soon to be three - in North Dakota. We also have a location under construction in Kansas with two more signed to open in the future. The Great Plains market is a key for our continued growth,” says Director of Franchise Development for Buffalo Wings & Rings Dan Doulen.
Fresh off the second opening in Lincoln, the Barton family is already looking ahead to a third location and focused on growing the Buffalo Wings & Rings brand name throughout the region.
Find out more about available franchise opportunities at http://ownabuffalo.com/.