Over the last two quarters, Wing Zone’s United States locations experienced a comparable sales increase of 9 percent. The restaurant franchise that offers flavor experiences for takeout and limited dine-in, credits its success to a new model launch, a brand focus on flavor and its steady international and U.S. growth.
Additionally, franchisee success continued to improve in the first quarter of 2012, in which average sales per location for first quarter were up 18 percent over 2011 at more than $13,000 a week.
“We refused to become complacent when the economy dipped,” said Matt Friedman, CEO and Founder of Wing Zone. “Our commitment to our franchisees is as strong as it has ever been. We know that when times get tough, you must evolve. In fact, we pushed the peddle harder, redesigning our footprint, expanding internationally, opening four locations with Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and launching our drive-thru/ground-up model.”
Wing Zone’s upgraded units come in two models, a traditional in-line, limited seating and takeout restaurant and a 1,200 square foot free standing drive thru footprint. The original design features a box between 1,000 and 1,500 square feet, typically reserved for inline retail “A” locations in Big Box National Retail Centers (Publix, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target). The total Investment for this model is between $ 200K-300K. The newly upgraded ground-up model is located near National Big Box retailers like Publix or Lowes and costs $450K.
In 2011, Wing Zone also went full-force with new branding, during which the chain launched its new focus on flavor while identifying its restaurants as an experience, called Flavorholics Unite. Wing Zone’s 15 flavor names got an overhaul to position Wing Zone as the flavor masters in the wing category. Its Facebook fans had a hand in helping the company select its newest flavor names, renaming flavors Mild, Medium and Hot to Tame, Buffalo Bliss, and Hot Shot – all now proprietary to Wing Zone.
“We are incredibly excited for the new direction of our brand, especially as we expand our presence in the U.S. and abroad.” Friedman said. “This conceptual development has the longevity and ability to cross international borders. Additionally, our new design supports franchisees who want to scale their business. Now, they can start with one model and advance to another. This provides more flexibility in design and real estate options.”
Wing Zone was founded in 1991 at the University of Florida by Matt Friedman and Adam Scott, who were Flavorholics that loved great wings and amazing flavors. The Wing Zone franchise was born in their fraternity house kitchen and the concept started by delivering to fellow college students. After opening several Wing Zone locations around college markets, Scott and Friedman began offering franchises in 2000. Wing Zone now has nearly 100 locations open across the U.S, Panama, Bahamas, and Saudi Arabia, with Dominican Republic, Malaysia and Dubai all scheduled to open in 2012. For more information about Wing Zone visit http://www.wingzone.com.