The Business of Football: Buffalo Wings & Rings Capitalizes on America’s Favorite Sport | 1851 Franchise

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The Business of Football: Buffalo Wings & Rings Capitalizes on America’s Favorite Sport
The Business of Football: Buffalo Wings & Rings Capitalizes on America’s Favorite Sport
Fast-growing club-level restaurant franchise offers an unmatched club-level game experience

As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, most people feel disappointed at the end of summer’s sunny days. At the same time, fans of America’s favorite sport are preparing for their favorite time of year: football season. Rabid fans across the country look for restaurants and bars to host fantasy football draft parties, cheer on their favorite team and enjoy food and drinks with friends.

As fans start tuning in, local businesses can also reap the benefits of football season. One brand that has always put a premium on football season is Buffalo Wings & Rings, a 75+-unit franchise brand that provides a game day experience that takes fans to the club level.

“We want our guests to think of us for every sports-related occasion, and football season is a huge traffic driver for us,” said Diane Matheson, vice president of marketing for Buffalo Wings & Rings. “We work tirelessly to provide added value for our guests and consistent promotions to help our franchisees drive business to their locations.”

One program the brand executes each year is a fantasy football kit, designed to encourage leagues to host their draft parties at Buffalo Wings & Rings. Launched in 2016, the kit includes player boards and stickers, a coupon for the commissioner and a $25 gift card that is given to the winner of each league.

“We are always thinking ahead on behalf of our franchisees,” said Matheson. “We implemented the fantasy football program to take place ahead of football season, before business picks up, to bring some of those draft parties from the home to our restaurants, or to have our guests keep Buffalo Wings & Rings top of mind for catering. Our franchisees get behind this initiative and find success in it.”

One of those franchisees is Si Rose, owner of two locations in the Cincinnati area in Finneytown and West Chester.

The Cincinnati area franchised and corporate locations have a deal with Bengals’ radio to host a pep rally at a Buffalo Wings & Rings location every Friday. During the live broadcast, local personalities Dave Lapham (a former Bengal himself) and Dan Horde take questions from the audience, give away tickets and get the crowd excited for the upcoming game, with guest appearances by Bengals players.

At Rose’s locations, he makes the most of the exposure by giving away food or drink samples and getting face time with guests.

“When we have pep rallies at our locations, we’re packed,” said Rose. “It’s our opportunity to wow our guests and show them that Buffalo Wings & Rings is the perfect place to enjoy game day. I’m working the room, cleaning dishes, meeting people and just being present. It’s critical for success at any location, especially during busy times of the year like football season.”

Rose also makes a push to bring in draft parties at his locations.

“Beyond our delicious food and drinks, it’s important for us to make people feel welcome. We strive to make guests feel like Buffalo Wings & Rings is a place where they are treated special and enjoy watching a game or hosting a draft party,” he said. “This is a different place from other restaurants or sports bars. The owner is present, the staff is friendly and our locations offer a game day experience that is second to none.”

With a chef-driven menu served on china; fresh, never frozen chicken; state-of-the-art televisions and surround sound; a locally sourced craft beer menu and thoughtful cocktails, Buffalo Wings & Rings takes the sports experience up a notch.

“We’ve carefully crafted our brand to appeal to families and friends wanting to enjoy time together over sports and great food,” added Matheson. “If you’re a fantasy football player, you can follow multiple games at the same time. Every seat in our restaurants is the best seat in the house.”

In 2015, Buffalo Wings & Rings took its commitment to providing a club-level experience one step further by opening a location in Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium as part of the stadium’s concessions upgrade. The strategy has paid off; the partnership has been incredibly successful for the Bengals and for Buffalo Wings & Rings, prompting the brand to consider opening locations in other stadiums as part of its growth strategy. 

So far in 2017, Buffalo Wings & Rings has opened four locations, with seven more in development. The brand is actively seeking qualified franchise partners across Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Florida and more. For more information, please visit