Buffalo Wings & Rings was born and bred in Cincinnati, so it only makes sense for Cincy to be the fast-growing brand’s launch pad for future expansion.
“The Cincinnati area is our No. 1 priority,” said Philip Schram, chief development officer at Buffalo Wings & Rings. “We want to make sure the brand grows in a concentrated manner, and Cincinnati acts as a tri-state area for Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.”
This allows Buffalo Wings & Rings to build strong brand recognition not just in Ohio, but in cities like Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville and more.
This is important to Schram and his team, as they know brand awareness breeds consumer interest. The more locations there are in a specific area, the more customers will view Buffalo Wings & Rings as an established option that’s easy to reach both where they live and when they’re traveling. Additionally, having multiple units in a specific area makes for more streamlined marketing, helping advertising dollars stretch further while also targeting a more complete swath of the buying public.
While Cincinnati is a priority, Buffalo Wings & Rings’ focus on concentrated growth is part of its national strategy, as well.
“Our strategy for growth is to increase density wherever we are located,” Schram said. “If we are in states where we don’t have a presence, we ask the franchisee to do a multi-unit deal. We wouldn’t do a single unit in an area where we aren’t able to create a concentration of restaurants. It creates a challenge for franchisees who have to overcome a lack of brand awareness.”
In this way, the brand’s strategy is designed to position franchisees for the greatest success in their territory. Of course, sticking to a strategy sometimes means passing up opportunities if they don’t represent long-term profitability for franchisees and the brand.
“The difference between a great brand and an average one is the ability to say no,” Schram said. “Every location we open, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to set it up for success now and in the future.”
The brand is putting this strategy into action beyond Ohio’s borders, also concentrating on Texas, Nebraska and both North and South Dakota. Add in locations in Florida and Chicago, and it’s clear Buffalo Wings & Rings’ domination of The Buckeye State is just the beginning.