bannerFranchisee Stories

Building for Success … Literally

How Buffalo Wings & Rings franchise designs its restaurants to maximize potential.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 11:11AM 08/23/22

Customers across the country have discovered what’s special about the food and atmosphere served up by Buffalo Wings & Rings, but as Chief Development Officer Philip Schram pointed out, the package itself can be just as important as what’s inside it.

Schram and his team realized the best way to promote higher profits was to create a space that could cater to larger volume.

“One of the things I put in the model was the size of the building, how many square feet, the number of seats, the size of the parking lot,” he said. “We determined the ideal size of the restaurant”

Initially some franchisees wanted to cut costs by obtaining smaller spaces, but Schram was able to demonstrate with his model how more floor space created exponentially more value through increased customer volume.

The company also knew the overall design of franchise locations was essential to differentiating it from the competition.

“We had focus groups and customers tell us what they liked and what they didn’t like,” Schram said. “Then we took that to Interbrand Design Forum - one of the best firms in the nation. They came back with this modern, contemporary design and it took us perhaps a year to get it right. But from there it was just ‘wow’ from customers. We got a lot of unexpected comments like, ‘At last you guys are removing all the clutter that was on the wall!’”

The result is a sports restaurant destination that feels nothing like outdated sports bars.

Buffalo Wings & Rings also focused on how franchise architecture and floor layout could better contribute to the specific ambiance it wanted to achieve.

“You’d be surprised how much time is spent on even the smallest details,” Schram said. “We have always had a very open layout so the energy is able to flow. If there is a family with kids in the restaurant section, they still feel the energy from the bar area but have their own quiet environment where the mom and and dad and kids can talk together. The overall sound level is chosen so people can have the energy but don’t have to yell over each other to hear.”

Meanwhile, décor was specifically chosen to keep the brand fresh in the minds of customers. The company wanted no confusion on the part of guests when it came to knowing where they were. While local sports bars and competitors in the segment may all blend together, the interior design of BW&R locations stands out.

“The other thing that was important from an exterior standpoint was putting our branding on the outside so it could be seen from the car,” Schram said. “A lot of landlords, they don’t want you to mess with things, so we had to find solutions that were landlord-friendly and passed the difficult exams of city inspection.”

Of course, these and other considerations were all designed from the ground up to position franchisees for maximum success.

“Imagine you spend a lot of money to open your dream business,” Schram said. “You want to make sure your investment is going to be flourishing in the next two to three decades, not just the next two to three years. As a franchisor, we invest not only for today, but for tomorrow and the day after.”