Though franchisees Bill and Christine Melton have only resided in the Lone Star State since 2010, they’re continuing to plant roots in their adopted home by opening their first Buffalo Wings and Rings location in Arlington, Texas—a first for city, too.
After 23 years of working for Applebee's (corporate and franchise) and managing eight to 20 stores at any given time, Bill was ready to take the next step and open up a business of his own. He and his wife, Christine, traveled to Houston for the Franchise Expo when they were introduced to the idea of opening a Buffalo Wings and Rings location. Originally from Cincinnati—the brand’s hometown—Bill and Christine were already familiar with the brand.
“The key for us was their commitment to developing the brand and continuing to take care of the franchisees. It was a no pressure situation for us,” Bill says. “Their food is very innovative and the concept is a lot different than your average sports bar. We have nicer tables, nicer chairs, and top of the line TVs. Also, you can sit anywhere in our restaurant and there’s not a bad seat in the house for viewing TVs.”
Only having been open for a few weeks, the Melton’s are already seeing a high volume of customers, which they, in large part, attribute to their popular location. Arlington, which is situated between major Texas cities Dallas and Fort Worth, is often referred to as the entertainment district. The Melton’s restaurant is located less than a mile away from the Texas Rangers stadium, about a mile and a half from the Cowboys stadium, across the street from Six Flags and down the street from the water park. “We’re right in the center of it,” says Bill. “It’s a great mix.”
The greater Dallas area itself has experienced tremendous growth over the years, making it an important market for Buffalo Wings & Rings as they continue to penetrate the state of Texas. The Meltons say they’ve seen more and more people moving to the Dallas and Fort Worth area, whether it’s because there’s no state income tax, the state’s business friendly attitude, or the almost year-round warm weather.
“You hear horror stories when people open businesses,” explains Bill. “And that they had to jump through many hoops to get there. But for us, dealing with the city and the state was fairly easy. There weren’t any surprises.”
The Meltons were originally going to open in Mansfield, Texas, but quickly realized future plans for road construction would disrupt traffic and could have been an ongoing issue for years. For any potential franchisee considering the greater Dallas area, Bill suggests that it’s important to do your homework on the location as far as demographics, traffic and the potential changes in traffic patterns.
“The good part of growth for a city is that there are more customers for all of us,” explains Bill. “The downside of city growth is that traffic patterns may change because of road construction.”
While the Meltons have no concrete plans for expansion at this time, they’re already thinking ahead, with a realtor scouting out new sites for construction in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
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