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FDD Talk 2017: What You Need to Know About the Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Costs and Fees)

by Franchise Chatter on April 30, 2017

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



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In this FDD Talk 2017 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Buffalo Wild Wings franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section IV – Presentation and analysis of Buffalo Wild Wings’ financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2017 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2016, 2015, and 2014 average, high, and low gross sales for Buffalo Wild Wings Franchised Restaurants having 4,601 or more square feet (the “Traditional Footprint”) that were opened after January 1, 2001, and which had been in operation for a full 12 months as of the company’s fiscal years ending December 25, 2016, December 27, 2015, and December 28, 2014
  • 2016, 2015, and 2014 average, high, and low gross sales for Buffalo Wild Wings Franchised Restaurants having 4,600 or less square feet (the “Small Footprint”) that were opened after January 1, 2001, and which had been in operation for a full 12 months as of the company’s fiscal years ending December 25, 2016, December 27, 2015, and December 28, 2014
  • 2016, 2015, and 2014 average, high, and low gross sales for all Buffalo Wild Wings Franchised Restaurants (both Traditional Footprint and Small Footprint) that were opened after January 1, 2001, and which had been in operation for a full 12 months as of the company’s fiscal years ending December 25, 2016, December 27, 2015, and December 28, 2014

Section I – Background Information

14 Things You Need to Know About the Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise

The Cypress Group to Assist in Portfolio Optimization Initiative

1.  Recently, Buffalo Wild Wings announced that it had hired The Cypress Group, a leading restaurant and franchise investment banking firm, to manage the company’s portfolio optimization. According to the press release, Cypress will be engaged in marketing roughly 10 percent of Buffalo Wild Wings’ company-owned restaurants.

2.  This initial sale represents the first phase of the company’s ongoing portfolio optimization process. Sally Smith, President and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings, had this to say about working with The Cypress Group:  “We anticipate engaging with successful, committed franchisees with the desire, experience and financial ability to build our brand and further strengthen the Buffalo Wild Wings system.”

New Leadership

3.  Late last year, Buffalo Wild Wings made changes to its executive team and Board of Directors. Santiago Abraham was appointed as the company’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) in December, while Alexander H. Ware was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in October.

4.  As CIO, Abraham is responsible for the company’s technology strategy, policies, processes, and practices to support its evolving business. In his role as CFO, Ware will lead the company’s financial planning and analysis, accounting, tax, treasury, and investor relations departments.

5.  Around this same time, Buffalo Wild Wings appointed three new independent directors to the company’s Board of Directors:  Andre Fernandez, President of CBS Radio; Hal Lawton, Senior Vice President of North America at eBay; and Harmit Singh, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Levi Strauss & Co.

6.  The new members are expected to stand for reelection in the company’s 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Additionally, the company has expanded its Board from eight to nine members.

Hosts Community National Day to Raise Funds for Local Boys & Girls Club

7.  Buffalo Wild Wings held its annual Community Day fundraiser on April 19. The annual fundraiser is part of Buffalo Wild Wings’ Team Up for Kids initiative, which aims to help more kids play team sports through the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA).

8.  On April 19, all Buffalo Wild Wings locations donated 10 percent of that day’s total sales, and 100 percent of guest donations, to the Boys & Girls Club.

9.  On Community Day 2016, Buffalo Wild Wings raised more than $730,000 for the BGCA. The company’s donations along with guest contributions totaled more than $4.1 million in 2016.

10.  Buffalo Wild Wings’ long term goal is to donate more than $17 million by 2020 to fund football, basketball, cheer, dance, and step programs at local Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S.

Company History

11.  The first Buffalo Wild Wings was opened in 1982 by friends James Disbrow and Scott Lowery in Columbus, Ohio. The pair, who had moved from Buffalo, New York, decided to open the sports bar when they couldn’t find a restaurant that served Buffalo-style wings.

12.  The restaurant was originally named Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck (or BW-3), but the company eventually dropped the “Weck” and today goes by the official nickname B-Dubs.

13.  By 1992, there were eight Buffalo Wild Wings locations, with the first franchised location opening that year. The company’s first international location opened nearly a decade later (in 2011) in Toronto, Canada. Today, there are over 1,220 locations around the world.

Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

14.  Buffalo Wilds Wings has appeared on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list every year in the last decade except for this year. The company’s highest rank was No. 59 in 2016 and 2015, and its lowest rank was No. 115 in 2008.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Buffalo Wild Wings franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD (updated).

Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees

  • Please click here for detailed information on Buffalo Wild Wings’ initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

Section IV – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2017 FDD) and Analysis



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