For Buffalo Wings & Rings, giving back to those in need has always been a top priority. That’s why the brand’s commitment to charitable service starts at the very top of its organization with owners Nader Masadeh, Philip Schram and Haytham David.
While supporting charities has always been a part of the brand’s DNA, Buffalo Wings & Rings’ leadership was inspired to start a specific foundation after a significant event at one of its restaurants. CEO Masadeh was working in the back of one of the brand’s restaurants when he noticed a young child rummaging through a dumpster for leftover scraps of food. So he stopped to have a conversation with the child, who explained that it was difficult to get enough food to eat during the summer months when school lunches weren’t an option. That’s why today, the Buffalo Wings & Rings’ Buffalove Foundation is designed to bring food to healthy children across the U.S. by supporting both national and local charities that fight child hunger.
“Giving back to the local communities that we call home has always been a top priority for us as a brand, both on the franchisee and corporate levels. But we wanted our charitable efforts to align with our system. That’s why we decided to focus on ending childhood hunger,” said Schram, Buffalo Wings & Rings’ chief development officer. “There are too many families in communities across the country that don’t have access to the daily portion of food that they need. We’re proud to come together as a brand through the Buffalove Foundation to raise awareness to this issue and give back in any way that we can.”
Every year, the Buffalove Foundation hosts a variety of fundraising initiatives in an effort to give back. The brand holds annual consumer fundraising campaigns in its restaurants between two to three times a year, for example, and is in the process of introducing a round up program that will donate money to local charities by rounding up participating consumers’ checks to the nearest dollar. Buffalo Wings & Rings’ charitable arm also hosts its own internal fundraising drives that are designed to bring both corporate and franchise team members together.
“Since the official founding of the Buffalove Foundation, team members on all levels have really stepped up and proven how invested they are in supporting their local communities. That’s why we ensure that our service and fundraising events aren’t in support of just one charity—it’s important for us to give back to a wide variety of organizations working to end child hunger that our franchisees are personally connected to,” said Lindsey Zahner, field marketing representative for Buffalo Wings & Rings. “This isn’t something that’s entirely run from a corporate perspective. Our local owners play an active role in determining how the funds that we raise are donated.”
One major way in which Buffalo Wings & Rings incorporates its franchisees into its Buffalove Foundation is its annual day of service. Every year on February 19, the brand hosts a system-wide give back day in honor of the anniversary of Masadeh, Schram and David taking ownership of the franchise. This past year marked the first annual day of service across Buffalo Wings & Rings’ system, with owners from numerous restaurants heading out to a charity of their choice in their community to hand out food or even plant a community vegetable garden.
“Charity is something that’s important to me and my family personally, so it’s great to be able to incorporate it into our business. Buffalo Wings & Rings has always gone above and beyond to give back to local communities, and I’m looking forward to being a part of our annual day of service going forward,” said Dominic Acolino, Buffalo Wings & Rings’ franchisee in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In addition to its charitable work, Buffalo Wings & Rings has been bringing its signature, chef-inspired food and club-level experience to consumers across the country for the past three decades. And it’s clear that its unique concept is catching on among customers and business owners alike—with more than 70 units currently up and running and plans to open one new restaurant every month throughout 2017, Buffalo Wings & Rings is actively expanding its reach in key development markets. And as the brand continues to expand its reach, it will continue to make an active effort to give back.
“We mean it when we say that our franchisees become integral parts of their local communities when they open their doors for business. We aren’t just helping our franchisees become successful business owners, we’re also helping them strengthen their ties to those around them,” said Schram. “We’re confident that the Buffalove Foundation will continue to grow as we welcome more franchisees to our system, and we’re looking forward to giving back to even more people in need across the country.”