In this FDD Talk 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 2019 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 2019 FDD
- Section IV – Number of franchised and company-owned Buffalo Wild Wings 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 Buffalo Wild Wings’ financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2019 FDD, including information on the:
- 2018 average, median, high, and low gross sales for the 575 franchised Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, 610 affiliate-owned Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, and all 1,185 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants that operated during the entire period from January 1, 2018 through December 30, 2018
Section I – Background Information
13 Things You Need to Know About the Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise
Partners with BetMGM to Bring Sports Gaming Experiences to Fans Nationwide
1. In early September 2019, Buffalo Wild Wings and MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture, Roar Digital, announced a multi-year partnership – a first-of-its-kind alignment between a national sports bar and a gaming leader. Roar Digital is the 50/50 venture established in July 2018 between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings.
2. In accordance with applicable regulatory requirements, the partnership will deliver sports gaming experiences at a national scale inside Buffalo Wild Wings through MGM’s digital gaming platform, BetMGM. In addition, the deal is expected to spawn collaborations inside MGM properties and sports books, including a new Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar slated to open at Mandalay Bay in 2020.
3. While the strategic alignment between these industry leaders is focused on capitalizing on future opportunities as states continue to pass sports betting legislation, consumers began to experience BetMGM at Buffalo Wild Wings not long after the announcement was made. The partnership kicked off with a free-to-play football game available nationwide. Plans also include a sports betting test program in New Jersey later in 2019 with the goal of expanding to additional states as legislation is passed.
4. According to MGM Resorts chairman and CEO Jim Murren, “Our partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings is an important development in MGM and Roar’s position as the leader in sports entertainment and betting. With more than 1,200 sports bars across the country, Buffalo Wild Wings is firmly established as a ‘go-to’ venue for sports viewing in all of its markets. Adding access to MGM’s world-class properties and the BetMGM mobile app will create unique customer experiences and redefine how fans enjoy sports.”
5. Lyle Tick, president of Buffalo Wild Wings, added, “As the largest sports bar in the country, Buffalo Wild Wings has the opportunity to pioneer sports gaming experiences for fans, and we are taking the first critical step on that journey through our partnership with BetMGM. This is a landmark relationship between two preeminent experience brands that puts us in a position to innovate the current sports watching experience to bring the best of sports gaming to our guests.”
Appoints New President
6. In mid-September 2019, Inspire Brands, parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings, announced that Lyle Tick had been named president of Buffalo Wild Wings, the largest sports bar restaurant chain in the country. Prior to joining Buffalo Wild Wings, Tick was managing director for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s beauty brands business in the Americas.
7. He also worked for Bacardi, where he served as senior global category director based in London and vice president of marketing for North America based in Miami. Prior to Bacardi, Tick held a variety of positions within marketing and advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, Gotham, McGarryBowen, and DDB.
8. Paul Brown, chief executive officer of Inspire Brands, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Lyle to Buffalo Wild Wings. His deep experience with global retailers and spirit brands makes Lyle the ideal leader to help us re-ignite and grow the Buffalo Wild Wings brand.”
9. According to Tick, “I’ve been a fan of Buffalo Wild Wings for many years, and this is an exciting time for the brand. Through the capabilities and resources of the Inspire platform, we’re building a talented team to ensure that Buffalo Wild Wings is well positioned for long-term growth.”
10. Buffalo Wild Wings was founded in 1982 by Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery in Columbus, Ohio. Disbrow and Lowery had moved to Columbus from Buffalo, New York and could not find a place to satisfy their Buffalo-style chicken wing cravings. So the friends decided that they would open their own wing restaurant and they chose a location near the Ohio State University campus. Originally, the restaurant was called Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck because they served beef on weck (a sandwich popular in western New York).
11. Disbrow and Lowery brought in a third business partner, Mark Lutz, and they began opening additional restaurants in Ohio, Indiana, and Colorado. In 1992, Buffalo Wild Wings started franchising by working with Francorp, a Chicago-based firm. At this time, the brand also began bottling its sauces to sell to customers, a practice that continues today. Buffalo Wild Wings’ growth continued over the next decade and by the early 2000s there were over 211 locations around the country.
12. In 2010, Buffalo Wild Wings began expanding internationally, starting with Canada. A few years later in 2017, Buffalo Wild Wings was acquired by Roark Capital Group and The Wendy’s Company, co-owners of Arby’s Restaurant Group, for about $2.4 billion plus debt. Today, there are Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants around the United States, Canada, India, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Vietnam.
Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500
13. Buffalo Wild Wings ranked No. 159 on Entrepreneur’s 2020 Franchise 500 list.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of Buffalo Wild Wings 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 Buffalo Wild Wings’ 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: 559
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 580
- Net Change: +21
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 580
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 585
- Net Change: +5
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 585
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 587
- Net Change: +2
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 576
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 607
- Net Change: +31
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 607
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 615
- Net Change: +8
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 615
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 621
- Net Change: +6
Section V – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2019 FDD) and Analysis
- There were 1,208 Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurants operating as of December 30, 2018.
- 1,185 of them operated during the entire period from January 1, 2018 through December 30, 2018 (the “Reporting Period”). The franchisor calls these 1,185 Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurants the “Covered Restaurants.”
- The franchisor’s affiliates operated 610 of these restaurants and franchisees operated the other 575.
- The franchisor excluded from the group of Covered Restaurants the 6 affiliate-owned Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurants and 11 franchised Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurants that closed during 2018. All of those restaurants had operated for 12 months before they closed.
- This financial performance representation discloses the average annual Gross Sales (as defined in Item 6), also called Average Unit Volume or “AUV,” during the Reporting Period for the Covered Restaurants.