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Why Shaun Hill is Continuing to Grow with Buffalo Wings & Rings as a Franchise Owner

Shaun Hill knew the minute he walked into Buffalo Wings & Rings that he wanted to join the club-level sports brand. Today, he’s a multi-unit franchisee with the brand and a successful owner of three locations.

By Sarah Baumann1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 8:08AM 07/28/20

When Shaun Hill first discovered Buffalo Wings & Rings, he was impressed by the brand’s business model, chef-driven menu and commitment to providing a VIP experience. Ready to be his own boss and looking for a new career opportunity, Hill met with the leadership team through the discovery process and knew that the franchise opportunity was the right career move for him. Hill signed on with the brand in 2009 to open his first Buffalo Wings & Rings location in Bardstown, Kentucky and has since opened two subsequent locations in Elizabethtown and Danville. 

“The franchise opportunity with Buffalo Wings & Rings was the best of both worlds for me,” said Hill. “It’s an elevated experience and so much different from any other sports bar — it truly provides a welcoming and fun gathering place for the community.”  

Capitalizing on the success of his first three locations, Hill decided that he will open his fourth location in Campbellsville in 2021. Pre-Covid-19, Hill was experiencing a strong revenue stream of $2 million annually due to his first three locations, and, thanks to the brand’s leadership team of industry experts, he has been able to successfully navigate the changes in his business throughout the unprecedented period. 

Like so many restaurants, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the sales rates of his locations. Hill says they haven’t quite gotten back to where they were prior to the advent of the virus, but he’s confident that the restaurants will keep community members engaged. Additionally, Hill praised the continuous support that he receives from the leadership team.

“We’re pulling out all the stops right now,” said Hill. “Things are constantly changing, but the constant throughout all of this is the support that we have received and ongoing communication [with the leadership team] to get us into a better place. We’re committed to doing everything that we can to ensure that our customers and staff feel safe, and we know that we’ll come out of this stronger than ever before.”

Hill and his team have been going the extra mile to provide quality food in a safe atmosphere — staff members pass out to-go cups, silverware and masks with every take-out order and Hill has also been staggering seating arrangements by having customers sit at every other table to ensure a safe distance. His staff members sanitize tables and chairs frequently in order to maintain optimal cleanliness and inspire confidence in their customers that they are providing the safest environment possible for them to enjoy their food.

“It has always been our mission to go above and beyond for our guests and to make their time with us as enjoyable as it was the first moment that I sat down at Buffalo Wings & Rings, all those years ago,” said Hill. “Our team is committed to making every customer feel like a VIP from the moment they walk in, and we really do go the extra mile to ensure that.” 

Hill believes the quality of service that Buffalo Wings & Rings provides to its customers sets the brand apart from other sports-focused restaurants. Compared to competitors, Hill believes the model takes the fast-casual dining experience to the next level, while welcoming everyone in the family to partake. “It’s not fast-food — it's quality food in a great atmosphere where families can bring their kids to watch the latest sports games,” he said. “We strive to bring people together.”

“Shaun is an extremely dedicated owner within the franchise,” said Director of Franchising Dan Doulen. “He has a unique ability to anticipate his customers' needs and is driven to ensure every guest feels valued and appreciated. We have developed a brand that is ideal for sports fans to come and watch their favorite teams with the whole family. The brand brings them through the doors, but Shaun’s tenacity and dedication to quality keeps them coming back.”

While the past several months have presented a temporary challenge, Hill strongly believes in the long-term success of his locations and credits some of this success to strong employees that are dedicated to his vision. Crediting the growth of each location to his teams he has built over the years, Hill says that the right people are what make or break a business.

“We're lucky to have a lot of good employees that have been working with us for a long time,” he said. “They’ve been helping to drive that growth every step of the way and will continue to be a part of our story moving forward.”