In this FDD Talk 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 2019 FDD
- Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Wing Zone franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2019 FDD
- Section IV – Number of franchised and company-owned Wing Zone outlets at the start of the year and the end of the year for 2016, 2017, and 2018, based on Item 20 of the company’s 2019 FDD
- Section V – Presentation and analysis of Wing Zone’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2019 FDD, including information on the:
- 2018 average and median net revenues, cost of goods sold, and labor costs for the 23 current Franchisee Businesses that have been open and operating continuously for the 2018 Accounting Period and have been operating under the same ownership since November 27, 2017
- 2018 average and median net revenues, cost of goods sold, and labor costs for the 11 current Franchisee Businesses that operated on or adjacent to either a college or military base and have been continuously operating under the same ownership since November 27, 2017
- 2018 average and median net revenues, cost of goods sold, and labor costs for the 12 current Franchisee Businesses that operated in a residential market and have been continuously operating under the same ownership since November 27, 2017
Section I – Background Information
22 Things You Need to Know About the Wing Zone Franchise
Introduces Thigh Wings
1. In early August 2019, Wing Zone introduced its latest innovative way to enjoy chicken: Thigh Wings. The new menu item launched systemwide on August 8. Thigh Wings have been in development for a year and a half and represent a flavorful alternative in light of rising chicken wing costs. Thigh Wings are thick, bone-in cuts of dark meat (from the chicken thigh) and have a deliciously crispy skin that can be slathered with any of Wing Zone’s famous flavors.
2. To celebrate the launch of Thigh Wings, Wing Zone made an introductory offer of four Thigh Wings for $2.99. The brand also launched the new White & Dark Pack Meal, which contains 10 boneless wings and 10 Thigh Wings, a basket of wedge fries or housemade kettle chips, carrots, celery, and dressing for $21.
3. Matt Friedman, founder and CEO of Wing Zone, said, “As chicken wings continue to rise in popularity, so has the price – which ultimately is passed on to our loyal guests. Our franchisees and fans come first, so we explored all sorts of options to determine a delicious way to enjoy our award-winning flavors but at a lower cost, and that research and development led to Thigh Wings. The meat is tender, juicy, and savory, and it has a fantastic taste, especially when tossed in any of our signature flavors. It’s a unique product that fits our menu and gives us the chance to create a new product at an aggressive price point.”
4. Friedman continued, “We think we have a real winner with the new Thigh Wings and are excited to introduce them at all of our locations across the U.S. We want to continue expanding so that more and more markets can enjoy the Wing Zone experience. Our goal is to bring the Wing Zone brand to markets throughout the southeast with like-minded franchisees who are passionate about service and great tasting food.”
5. In the same press release, Wing Zone mentioned that it would be opening eight new domestic locations in 2019 and 2020 in target markets across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama while also expanding overseas by adding 10 to 11 international locations in Panama and the Philippines. The brand is also looking to expand its existing reach in Kentucky and Ohio.
6. Wing Zone primarily targets densely-populated residential areas where the demand for takeout and delivery options is high, such as college campuses and military bases.
Plans to Open a Dozen International Locations
7. In mid-February 2019, Wing Zone announced its plans to open an average of at least one new international location per month in 2019. Heading into 2019, the company operated 24 restaurants in five countries outside of the United States, and has plans to open seven new Wing Zone units in Panama and five additional restaurants in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, before the end of the year.
8. Hair Parra, COO and head of international development for Wing Zone, said, “The Wing Zone model and focus on an innovative, flavor-themed menu has resonated strongly in international markets. Chicken is a huge part of the daily menu internationally and our bold flavors, early entry and established brand recognition overseas and convenient delivery model, all combine to help the Wing Zone brand expand outside of our U.S. roots.”
9. Diqueos Tagaropulos is leading the expansion of Wing Zone in Panama, while Johnny Mayani is leading the expansion in Manila. While many elements of the Wing Zone brand are the same as those in the U.S., the international locations each have some unique qualities tied to the local tastes and culture.
10. For example, Asian-style wings that include the tip will be served in the Manila locations. Local desserts will also be available in both countries and new restaurants will feature tableside service and silverware.
11. As Wing Zone opens new restaurants and continues to enhance existing locations internationally, the company is exploring more local flavors and also plans to incorporate new options available in the U.S., such as the recently added Zesty Breaded Wings and the “soon to be famous” Chicken Ribs.
12. According to Matt Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Wing Zone, “It continues to amaze me how strongly Wing Zone has been embraced in international markets. When we first came up with this idea at our fraternity in college, we never would have thought that wing fans in more than five countries would be enjoying Wing Zone one day. We have built a solid international presence and reputation with dedicated franchisees who share our values and understand the commitment to customer service. As we continue to find those qualified franchisees to help in our growth in the U.S., we will be exploring even more partnerships to bring Wing Zone to more cities and countries internationally as well.”
Launches New Menu Featuring Healthier and Vegetarian Options
13. At the beginning of August 2018, Wing Zone launched a new menu catering to the evolving tastes of consumers. The new menu features all of the sauces that Wing Zone Flavorholics have come to love, including the latest addition to the Wing Zone roster, Chipotle BBQ. However, the menu now features healthier options including a vegetarian section, enhanced salads, and wraps.
14. Wing Zone customers can also enjoy a new line of quesadillas, new sides such as fried pickles and gourmet onion rings, and decadent desserts like Oreo Churros, fried Twinkies, and funnel cake fries. There is also a revamped Kids Zone section with options for younger Wing Zone fans, weekday specials Monday through Thursday, and lunch specials starting at an $8 price point with five options to choose from.
15. Matt Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Wing Zone, said, “When we set out to create the very best wing delivery restaurant 25 years ago with Wing Zone, we focused on developing unique flavors delivered directly to our customers’ doors. Now, 25 years later, we are excited about the evolution of our menu and an increased variety of bold and delicious options we can offer Wing Zone fans and introduce to new guests. While we remain committed to providing the very best chicken wing and tender experience possible, this new menu gives guests more freedom of choice and vibrant options to get their fix, whether they’re looking for a salad bursting with flavor or to treat themselves with one of our indulgent desserts.”
16. The new menu launched just a few days after Wing Zone celebrated National Chicken Wing Day on July 29. For the national chicken wing holiday, Wing Zone offered Flavorholics a deal for 16 boneless or original wings for just $10.
17. Friedman added, “It’s fitting that we will be celebrating all things chicken wings before introducing Wing Zone fans to our expanded menu. We’ve spent countless hours in the research and development kitchen to make sure that all of our new options meet the same level of quality and flavor we’ve been providing for a quarter century. We hope our Flavorholics will come in to celebrate National Chicken Wing Day with us on Sunday and then come back to check out all that the new menu has to offer on
18. Wing Zone was founded in 1991 by Matt Friedman and Adam Scott in Gainesville, Florida near the University of Florida. Scott and Friedman, who were students at the time, recognized that only pizza was available as an after-hours snack and they wanted to fill this void with wings.
19. With a population of more than 40,000 students, the campus turned out to be a great place to test Scott and Friedman’s fledgling business. The friends and business partners set up their new business in their frat house kitchen after-hours to create and perfect their techniques and special flavors for their popular wings.
20. Scott and Friedman’s wings were an instant success and after they had outgrown their frat house kitchen, they opened two storefronts in Gainesville in 1993. Eventually, in 2000, Scott and Friedman began franchising the Wing Zone concept.
21. Today, there are Wing Zone stores across the United States, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington, California, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Virginia. There are also international Wing Zone restaurants.
Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500
22. Wing Zone did not rank on Entrepreneur’s 2019 Franchise 500 list.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of Wing Zone franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2019 FDD.
Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees
- Please click here for detailed information on Wing Zone’s initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2019 FDD.
Section IV – Number of Franchised and Company-Owned Outlets
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 58
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 60
- Net Change: +2
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 60
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 44
- Net Change: -16
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 44
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 37
- Net Change: -7
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 2
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 2
- Net Change: 0
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 2
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 1
- Net Change: -1
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 1
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 2
- Net Change: +1
Section V – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2019 FDD) and Analysis
- This Item 19 includes certain historical revenue information for certain franchisee-operated Businesses, and certain cost information (which franchisees must report to Wing Zone via the required POS System) for franchisee-operated Businesses (that are currently operating and have operated continuously under the same ownership since November 27, 2017) for Wing Zone’s 52-week accounting period beginning November 27, 2017 and ending November 25, 2018 (the “2018 Accounting Period”).
- The success of your franchise will depend largely upon your individual abilities and your market, and the financial results of your franchise are likely to differ, perhaps materially, from the results summarized in this Item.
- The Net Revenue and expenses detailed in each of the Charts below are based on information Wing Zone derived directly from the information reported by each franchisee in the required POS System. This information is not audited.
Part 1 – Average Actual Historical Operations During the 2018 Accounting Period for the 23 Franchisee Businesses Continuously Operating Under the Same Ownership Since November 27, 2017
- Part 1, below, shows the overall actual average Business results of 23 current Franchisee Businesses that have been open and operating continuously for the 2018 Accounting Period and have been operating under the same ownership since November 27, 2017.
- Wing Zone excluded operating results for 3 Franchisee Businesses that were transferred to new ownership during the 2018 Accounting Period. Wing Zone has also not included 7 Franchisee Businesses that operate in non-traditional food court settings.