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The Franchise Chatter Blog’s List of 23 Things Every Prospective Franchisee Needs to Know Before Investing in a Wingstop Restaurant Franchise (2011)
Wingstop Franchise Business Model
1. Wingstop is a fast casual restaurant franchise with a very focused menu consisting of regular wings, boneless wings, and boneless strips — made fresh-to-order and sauced in one of 9 proprietary flavors: namely, original hot, Cajun, atomic, mild, teriyaki, lemon pepper, Hawaiian barbeque, garlic parmesan, and hickory smoked BBQ.
2. Wingstop offers a variety of side dishes, including fresh-cut fries, bourbon double-baked beans, classic pearl potato salad, chilled carrot and celery sticks, creamy Ranch or chunky Bleu Cheese dressings, hot rolls, soft drinks, and a wide selection of beers and wine.
3. Typically, 75 to 80% of the Wingstop business is carry-out, allowing the restaurant to be operated efficiently in a smaller location (fr0m 1350 to 1800 square feet) at a neighborhood shopping center.
4. The simple concept and limited menu makes it possible for a franchisee with no prior restaurant experience to successfully own and operate a single unit. However, Wingstop requires multi-unit owners to have previous restaurant operational and/or development experience.
5. Wingstop restaurants are open from 11am to midnight, 7 days a week — which are not unreasonable hours for a food service operation.
6. Wingstop restaurants do not offer delivery services — further streamlining business operations. However, Wingstop franchisees can deliver large catering orders as needed.
7. The focused menu makes it easier to run the restaurant in a smaller space, with less equipment and capital outlay, fewer employees, and less training hours.
8. Wingstop is known for having the best wings and was voted “Festival Favorite” at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, NY, home of the buffalo wing.
Wingstop Franchise Cost
9. Wingstop’s one-time fee of $25,000 includes a Development Fee of $8,500 and a Franchise fee of $16,500 (for the first restaurant). The Franchise Fee for each subsequent restaurant is reduced to $10,000.
10. On-going fees include a 5% Royalty Fee and a 2% contribution to the Collective Advertising Fund.
11. The minimum net worth requirement to open a Wingstop restaurant is $400,000 per restaurant, with liquid assets of $200,000 per restaurant in cash, cash equivalents, or committed lines of unsecured credit. This is considered to be on the low end for the food industry.
12. The total initial investment to open a Wingstop restaurant (excluding real estate purchase and lease costs) ranges from $263,550 to $616,946.
Wingstop Franchise Growth
13. The first Wingstop restaurant was opened in 1994. The company began franchising the concept in 1997. Today, Wingstop has more than 650 restaurants open or under development in 33 states, and continues to add new stores at an annual rate of almost 30 percent.
Wingstop Franchise Training and Support
14. The Wingstop franchisee and his/her General Manager both undergo an intensive 4-week training program at the Wingstop corporate headquarters in Dallas. During the 4 weeks, they will run a Wingstop restaurant as if it were their own and receive hands-on training in Restaurant Operations, Hospitality, Labor Management, Administration, Marketing, Food Preparation, Customer Relations, Sanitation, Employee Relations & Retention, and Advertising.
15. The training department will send an opening team to the restaurant to spend time with the franchisee and his/her staff up to 5 days prior to opening.
16. On-going support comes in the form of direct access to experienced Franchise Business Consultants, an intranet which provides ongoing updates and information, annual conventions, and advanced training programs.
17. The franchisor is a privately-held company with 40 employees (5 in the Franchise Department).
Wingstop Franchise Real Estate Selection and Build-Out
18. Wingstop restaurants feature a nostalgic, aviation-themed atmosphere featuring 1930’s – 1940’s, pre-jet engine aviation décor and artifacts.
19. The small footprint of a typical Wingstop restaurant (1350-1800 square feet) is perfect for neighborhood in-line shopping centers, close to where customers live. Visibility, a complimentary tenant mix, and ease of entrance and exit are considered by Wingstop to be extremely important.
20. Wingstop offers professional architectural, design, and engineering services on a fee basis. Franchisees are free to retain other qualified professionals, but Wingstop believes they can save franchisees time and money and yield the best results.
21. The Wingstop design and construction team will help the franchisee select a general contractor and help manage the construction process, including getting all necessary permits.
22. Wingstop designs and installs the décor package for every store and they have a preferred list of vendors from which the franchisee can choose to purchase the furniture, fixtures, and equipment needed to complete the restaurant.
Wingstop Franchise Accolades
23. In 2011, Wingstop was ranked #71 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500, #72 in the magazine’s Fastest Growing Franchises list, and #61 in their list of America’s Top Global Franchises.