Viva Food Group Signing to Boost Wing Zone’s International Presence by 30 Percent Over Next 10 years
Wing Zone, the fast casual restaurant creating Flavorholics around the world with its signature flavored wings and burgers, has signed a major expansion deal to increase its international presence. The agreement, signed with The Philippines-based Viva International Food & Restaurants, Inc. and facilitated through JNM Dining Concepts, Wing Zone’s South Asia Master Franchise, based in Singapore, will result in the building of up to 50 new Wing Zone units across The Philippines over the next 10 years.
The signing continues strong international growth for the brand during the last year, and comes on the heels of a diversified development focus for the iconic American brand. When the U.S. economy began to buckle in 2008, Wing Zone Co-Founder and CEO Matt Friedman knew operational flexibility was essential to maintaining the brand’s competitive edge in the increasingly crowded wing segment. Noting stronger economic markets globally, Friedman launched Wing Zone’s aggressive international growth strategy. Today, the leading fast-casual restaurant franchise boasts more than 100 units open or in development across the U.S., and a strong international presence, including locations in Panama, Singapore, Malaysia and beyond, a footprint that will more than triple with this new signing in The Philippines.
“We have millions of loyal Flavorholics now outside of the U.S., and this historic development agreement presents the best opportunity yet for Wing Zone to cement its place as the international leader in the chicken wing segment,” said Matt Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Wing Zone. “The knowledge and experience that Viva Food Group has in The Philippines, coupled with their successful business background spanning more than three decades of success gives us an extremely high level of confidence that these developments in The Philippines will be a rapid success and help push our international expansion footprint to the next level.”
The partnership will be driven through Viva Food, under the Viva Group of Companies, following discussions with Johnny Mayani, Managing Director of JNM Dining Concepts, who identified Viva as a strong area developer for the brand. After investing heavily in the entertainment industry, Viva Group of Companies Chairman and CEO Vicente “Vic” del Rosario, Jr., has made a new investment push into restaurants in his pursuit to become the heaviest hitter in the food industry in The Philippines. Viva International Food & Restaurants also successfully operates Paper Moon Tokyo Cake Boutique and Café as well as Botejyu Authentic Japanese Restaurant chain, as franchisees. The company’s newest agreement with Wing Zone puts them on track to potentially open up to 50 units over the next 10 years, with the initial development comprising 10 restaurants, the first of which is scheduled to open in early Q3 2017 in SM MEGAMALL in Manila. The developments will be facilitated through Wing Zone’s South Asia headquarters and training center, JNM Dining Concepts, based in Singapore.
As Wing Zone’s headquarters for the Asian region, the Singapore training center will provide supply chain management, vendor management, branding, and development strategy for the new Viva locations in The Philippines. Wing Zone franchisees across the region already benefit from the Singapore center’s real-time support through training, marketing, and approval assistance, and the brand support team is eager to expand its impact through the new locations in The Philippines.
Wing Zone continues to push aggressive expansion plans in the U.S. as well, including recent openings and signings in Illinois and California. Abroad, the brand has also seen three recent store openings in Panama, one in Guatemala and one in Malabo, the brand’s first location in Africa. Now, in 2017, the brand will continue building out its international footprint even further, with additional openings in the pipeline across Guatemala and Panama.
Known as Flavorholics, Wing Zone customers have been the reason behind the global franchise’s success, and why the National Buffalo Wing Festival has consistently honored Wing Zone for its distinct tastes. Wing Zone’s unique flavors have been featured on the Food Network, ESPN, CNBC and Fox Business News, and other major national and trade media outlets.
As Wing Zone enters 2017 with big expansion plans and even bigger flavors, the brand is also searching for passionate franchisees eager to expand and achieve rapid ROI. With territories available in existing and new markets across the U.S. and internationally, exciting opportunities remain for forward-thinking entrepreneurs to deliver bolder flavors to consumer nationwide.
“This amazing development in The Philippines is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Friedman, noting that Wing Zone has created an international distribution method to maintain consistent flavor and taste. “Not only have we repositioned ourselves to better connect with multi-unit/multi-brand franchisees by streamlining our operations, systems, branding, and marketing, but we have created a concept that is friendly, worldwide. We’re eager to create even more Flavorholics around the globe in the years to come.”
Wing Zone was founded in 1991 at the University of Florida by Matt Friedman and Adam Scott, who dubbed themselves Flavorholics because of their love of great wings and amazing flavors. The Wing Zone franchise was born in their fraternity house kitchen, and the concept quickly flourished through delivery to their fellow college students. After opening several more Wing Zone locations in college markets across the country, Scott and Friedman began offering franchises in 2000. Wing Zone now has nearly 100 locations open across the U.S. and a strong international presence, including Panama, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Malabo, Colombia, Singapore and Guatemala. For more information about Wing Zone visit www.wingzone.com.