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FDD Talk 2015: The Wing Zone Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on September 4, 2015

in Chicken Franchises, Chicken Wings Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings

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Wing Zone photo by cerebralcereal

In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Wing Zone franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Wing Zone franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Wing Zone’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • average gross revenues, cost of goods sold, and labor costs for the period December 2, 2013 through November 30, 2014 (the “Accounting Period”) of the 39 franchised Wing Zone businesses that have been open at least one full Accounting Period and have been operating under the same ownership for at least 15 consecutive months as of March 4, 2015

Section I – Background Information

Buffalo wings became all the craze in the 1980s. They’re chicken wings, but the name comes from their city of origin, Buffalo, NY.

It was in 1991 that University of Florida students Matt Friedman and Adam Scott were pining for a late-night students-with-munchies solution that wasn’t pizza delivery. Using their fraternity’s kitchen in the off-hours, the pair of friends developed their own techniques for preparing buffalo wings.

With a student body of 4,000 at UFL, they had more than enough people to try out their creations. In their first two nights of on-campus business, they completely sold out of everything they offered. Realizing they had a hit on their hands, they opened the first two restaurants in Gainesville in 1993.

Today the chain has more than 60 locations in 22 states, and 17 international locations. With Friedman as president/CEO and Scott as COO, the company is now headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

Here’s how Wing Zone keeps the flavors fresh in the buffalo wings segment:

It’s All About the Flavor

The chain focuses on creating different and unique flavors for its wings, calling its loyal customers Flavorholics. Patrons are invited to engage in Flavor Fuze, which is really just choosing from among the chain’s flavor offerings, often called rubs, that are applied to the wings or other items from its menu. It boasts up to 15 different sauces for its wings.

More Than Wings

Although Friedman and Scott proved that college students can survive on wings alone, the chain also appeals to a wider target audience with a variety of other (mostly deep-fried) products, including boneless wings, chicken fingers, buffalo shrimp, sandwiches (1/2-pound burgers, grilled chicken, or fried chicken), potato wedges, beer battered onion rings, fried mushrooms, salads, mozzarella sticks, and beer battered fried pickles, along with brownie and banana deserts.

Indulging Less-Than-Healthy Cravings

Thumbing its nose at the increasingly health-conscious choices consumers claim to be making, Wing Zone is ready to satisfy customers’ more indulgent cravings. That’s the spirit behind its latest menu offering – the Widowmaker burger. It consists of no fewer than four quarter-pound patties, four slices of American cheese and four slices of bacon on a brioche bun.

As Wing Zone’s director of marketing Dan Corrigan put it, “We wanted people to say, ‘Holy crap, that is a big sandwich.’” And it is! Perhaps not surprisingly, I haven’t been able to find any nutritional info on this one, but it obviously packs a quadruple-whammy in calories and fat.

Reclaiming Its On-Campus Roots

In 2014 Wing Zone opened a new location on the campus of Georgia Tech. It’s serving as a model for how the chain plans to expand on at least 10 more campuses in the near future. CEO Matt Friedman noted that in addition to being a captive audience with disposable income, hungry students who experience the restaurant on campus will naturally become brand ambassadors when they return home on breaks.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Wing Zone franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis

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