The herd is spreading. Buffalo Wings & Rings, the Cincinnati-based elevated sports restaurant franchise concept, spread their wings in the first three months of 2017 – opening brand new locations across the U.S., in Florida, Kentucky and North Dakota, all of which have broken various opening week sales records. This momentum comes after a successful 2016, where the brand signed an impressive 12 deals in a single year.
Now, as Buffalo Wings & Rings continues to find qualified restaurant operators, they’re celebrating the start of 2017 by opening new units at an impressive rate of one per month—for the past six months, the brand has opened seven restaurants.
“It’s exciting to see our franchise partners get to that point of opening their doors and welcoming guests with a smile,” said Philip Schram, Chief Development Officer of Buffalo Wings & Rings. “We are committed to being there from signing to doors opening, so it’s a great feeling for the corporate team, too, when we see the hard work paying off.”
That hard work correlates into success. Buffalo Wings & Rings enjoyed an increase in same store sales and average unit volumes in 2016 when the majority of full-service restaurants saw a dip. The first quarter of 2017 has seen both new and existing franchisees opening restaurants.
In Florida, Glenn Schaible, alongside his son, Chris, opened a new Buffalo Wings & Rings in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Though no strangers to the franchise industry – the family owns and operates several successful Lennys Grill & Subs in the area – this is their first location with Buffalo Wings & Rings.
“After experiencing success with Lennys, we decided we were ready to branch out to Buffalo Wings & Rings. After researching a lot of different brands, we were drawn to Buffalo Wings & Rings’ unique concept—between its chef-driven menu and family-friendly dining experience, it brought something to the table that others simply don’t have,” Chris said.
But beyond the concept itself, it was ultimately Buffalo Wings & Rings’ support system that really convinced the Schaible family to invest.
“From the moment we signed all the way through our grand opening and beyond, Buffalo Wings & Rings has been in step with us all the way through this journey,” Chris added. “This is a brand that lived out their promise. We never had any issues getting ahold of anyone—any time we had a question, we could pick up the phone and get an answer. You just don’t find that kind of support in other brands.”
Meanwhile, Al Hauck and his family began the expansion of their Buffalo Wings & Rings empire in North Dakota with the opening of their second restaurant in Bismarck. This follows the success of their initial location in Minot, and the family is interested in further growth in areas such as Fargo and Grand Forks.
“When we first invested in Buffalo Wings & Rings, we were interested in bringing a restaurant to town that we would personally want to eat at. We wanted a place where you can hang out with friends or family, have a few beers, eat great food and not have to yell over loud background noise. We chose Buffalo Wings & Rings because it was on target with what we wanted—this brand caters to everyone,” Hauck said. “If we want to go out, the Buffalo Wings & Rings environment is one we want to be in, and we have found that more people want that same thing, too. It’s what we dreamed about for so long, and it made sense to bring that experience to more people throughout North Dakota by way of a second location.”
Finally, Craig and Leslie Tincher welcomed their first guests at their new Buffalo Wings & Rings in London, Kentucky. Like the Schaibles, the couple isn’t new to business ownership – Craig owns his own construction company and the two own a children’s birthday party business – but Buffalo Wings & Rings was their first entry into the restaurant industry.
While focused on getting their London location up and running, the Tinchers have also expressed an interest in growing the brand in their neck of the woods.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest but the process seems to be a lot smoother than I anticipated. Corporate is there to guide you from signing to opening and has really made it a painless experience,” said Craig Tincher.