Franchise Veteran Puts Off Retirement to Open Wingstop Restaurants in Utah

Franchise Veteran Puts Off Retirement to Open Wingstop Restaurants in Utah

Thanks to the dedication of veteran-franchisee Donnie Reeves, Wingstop is officially landing in Utah next year.

As a former owner-operator of multiple Wingstop locations in El Paso, and current owner of two in the D-FW area, Reeves recently decided to forgo retirement in favor of signing a five-store development agreement to open the award-winning wing chain in Utah.

With 520+ locations across the country, Reeves plans to open his first Wingstop in the Salt Lake City area this winter. He is currently exploring site options throughout the suburbs of West Jordan, South Jordan and Sandy and expects to sign a lease in the coming months.

“I’m excited to introduce Salt Lake City wing fans this great concept,” said Reeves. “Bringing Wingstop to the area gives me an opportunity to really make an impact and show the community what the wing experts are all about.”

Reeves got his start with Wingstop in 2002, when a long-time friend convinced him to form a business partnership and take a chance on the only chicken chain with a sole focus on wings. Ten years and two $1,000,000+ stores later, Reeves is glad he did.

“At first I wasn’t sure about a restaurant that focused so much on wings, but after tasting the great product, I couldn’t say no,” he said. “The fresh, made-to-order concept was so simple and with 10 signature wing flavors, there’s something for everyone. That, together with my partner’s expertise convinced me that Wingstop was a concept I wanted to run with.”

Reeves helped to develop the El Paso market for almost a decade, in addition to opening two successful locations in the Dallas area. He decided to retire from his half of the El Paso partnership in 2010, but then just a year later, Reeves knew he couldn’t stay away.

“Wingstop is such a part of me and such an amazing concept that I decided leading the way into Utah and bringing an old friend in to help me would be more fun than retiring,” he said.

Reeves hopes to replicate Wingstop’s success in Salt Lake City by sharing his experience and knowledge with his new partner, Linda Eadler, and plans to eventually hand over the market to her completely.

“One of these days I’ll officially decide to retire but until then, I’m really enjoying my continued time with Wingstop,” adds Reeves. “We’re going to hit the ground running in Salt Lake City and I know Linda is the perfect person to help make this a success.”

With its sole focus on cooked-to-order chicken, the Wingstop menu features traditional and boneless wings, strips and the chain’s newest offering – Glider sandwiches – all sauced and tossed in 10 original flavors. Homemade side dishes include fresh-cut seasoned fries, made daily from Idaho potatoes, Bourbon baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad.

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Franchise Veteran Puts Off Retirement to Open Wingstop Restaurants in Utah

Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Wingstop has more than 500 restaurants open across the United States and Mexico. With a sole focus on chicken wings, the Wingstop menu features 10 wing flavors including Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian, Garlic Parmesan, Hickory Smoked BBQ and Louisiana Rub. Wings are made fresh, cooked-to-order and customers can also choose from homemade side dishes including Wingstop’s award winning fresh-cut seasoned fries. Wingstop has experienced eight consecutive years of positive sales increases, was named a Top 10 Best Franchise Deal by QSR magazine, and has been voted ‘best wings’ in markets across the country. Troy Aikman, three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback, has served as the chain’s national spokesman since 2003 and recently joined the Wingstop Board of Directors. Wingstop was acquired in 2010 by affiliates of Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in business and consumer service companies with attractive growth prospects and revenues ranging from $20 million to $1.0 billion. For more information visit, or