East Coast Wings + Grill, a North Carolina based comfort dining franchise with an emphasis on buffalo wings and craft beer, is closing out a banner year complete with a brand reinvention. Dubbed East Coast Wings + Grill 2.0, the refresh has provided a modern comfort dining experience including a new logo, menu items and revamped interior. Delivering two units implementing the new interior and décor in Q4 2016 alone, the brand currently has four locations in construction for 2017.
With 44 units open or in construction nationwide, the refresh is the next step to elevate the brand to the 100+-unit mark. To be implemented in all locations moving forward, the first restaurants debuted in Atlanta, Ga. and Harrisburg, NC. In construction for Q1 and Q2 2017 openings, locations in Burlington & Greensboro, NC, Memphis, Tenn. and Lynchburg, Va. will also implement the new interior. Additionally, all existing locations will eventually convert to adopt the new look. Upon entering new locations, guests can expect a more rustic and industrial styled space appealing to both the brand’s current customer base, as well as younger millennials.
With the evolved look, East Coast Wings + Grill revamped the food and drink experience as well. The food enhancement began with the 2016 fall menu debut and will conclude the transition with the 2017 spring menu. Further, East Coast Wings + Grill will be converting the beer offerings to Craft style beer with more than 65 options from local, regional and national breweries.
“Developed after analyzing the brand and new growth strategies, East Coast Wings + Grill 2.0 has helped to elevate every platform of the brand while decreasing costs,” stated Sam Ballas, CEO of East Coast Wings + Grill. “By securing national contracts, exclusive FF&E dealers and changes to our materials and development processes, we’ve decreased an average cost approximately 18 percent.”
The 2.0 look has taken the new markets by storm—elevating Harrisburg, NC to potentially unseat the brands 10 year running number one location in the country in gross sales and at 1,000 square feet smaller footprint. “It takes the community, the brand and the on-the-ground operator to produce this style of trajectory. If they sustain current sale trajectory this month, it would be record numbers for any casual dining measurement at their capacity in the last 15 years. These franchisees execute by the book, always embracing the brand’s initiatives and caring for the community,” added Ballas.
“The new look has been incredibly well-received,” stated multi-unit franchisee JD Penland. “East Coast Wings + Grill’s vision in assuring we stay relevant is evident with what they asked us to develop. We are already planning for our fourth location in 2018.”
2016 was also a banner year for the brand’s unit economics. As reported by the franchise system, the average unit level EBITDA was 18.3 percent. “Given the casual dining sector’s overall growth numbers, I am very pleased with this number – we had an extremely small drop, approximately 70 basis points over 2015 with our owner-operator units. This strong performance is a direct result of our franchisees sticking to what the system’s historical data offers them for operations, and a positive mark on my Unit Level Economics Division,” stated Ballas.
With 60 locations currently operating or in various stages of development, East Coast Wings + Grill plans to open two additional locations by year-end. Specifically, the franchise is looking to expand its national footprint in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
East Coast Wings + Grill is a fast-growing, casual, family dining franchise that puts the spotlight on buffalo wings. With more than 60 locations nationwide currently operating or in various stages of development, the burgeoning franchise recently secured itself a top spot for the second consecutive year on Restaurant Business Magazine’s “Future 50” list of the fastest-growing U.S. mid-size restaurant chains. 2016- Ranked in the INC. 5000 of personally held corporations. Entrepreneur magazine also named East Coast Wings + Grill one of the nation’s top franchise investments, and Franchise Times magazine ranked the company No. 395 on its “Top 200+” list of top revenue-producing U.S. franchises. The concept has also been recognized by The Franchise Grade and Franchise Business Review for transparency during the franchise sales process, franchisee support and overall franchisee satisfaction. Based in North Carolina, East Coast Wings + Grill caters to chicken wing lovers by offering dozens of varying chicken wing flavors that can be paired with nine heat intensities—resulting in hundreds of delicious choices. The extensive menu also includes salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more – all using fresh ingredients. For more information about East Coast Wings + Grill or its franchise opportunities, visit www.eastcoastwings.com or www.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com.