In this FDD Talk post, you’ll learn the following:
- Section I – Background information on the Wings Over franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
- Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Wings Over franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2021 FDD
- Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Wings Over franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2021 FDD
- Section IV – Number of franchised and company-owned Wings Over outlets at the start of the year and the end of the year for 2018, 2019, and 2020, based on Item 20 of the company’s 2021 FDD
- Section V – Presentation and analysis of Wings Over’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2021 FDD, including information on the:
- 2019 and 2020 average, median, high, and low gross sales for the franchised Wings Over outlets that were open for the entire 2019 fiscal year (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019) and the entire 2020 fiscal year (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020), separately stated
- 2019 and 2020 average, median, high, and low gross sales for the company-owned Wings Over outlets that were open for the entire 2019 fiscal year (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019) and the entire 2020 fiscal year (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020), separately stated
Section I – Background Information
18 Things You Need to Know About the Wings Over Franchise
Gives Away Kids Meals to Families Affected by COVID-19
1. In mid-March 2020, Wings Over announced that it was providing free kids meals for any K-12 child that needs it. Available every day of the week. No purchase necessary. Participating locations included Wings Over Athens, Wings Over College Park, Wings Over Columbus, Wings Over Happy Valley, Wings Over Ithaca, Wings Over Knoxville, Wings Over Providence, Wings Over South Bend, Wings Over Springfield, and Wings Over Syracuse.
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2. Dan Leyva, Wings Over’s chief wing officer, wrote in a letter, “At Wings Over, we take great pride and responsibility in being a part of our local communities. During times of uncertainty, we will be here for you. We know that there are a lot of families being affected due to school closures, workforce reductions, and many other situations. While we know we can’t help fix everything, we hope we can provide some relief to those who need it.”
Launches Fire Buffalo Sauce with Ghost Pepper
3. In early November 2020, Wings Over introduced its new Fire Buffalo sauce, made with Ghost Peppers, the restaurant’s hottest sauce to date. Wings Over infused the brand’s signature Buffalo Sauce recipe with the burning, unmistakable heat of Ghost Peppers to create the spiciest sauce on the menu.
4. According to Dan Leyva, Wings Over’s chief wing officer, “Our goal was to create a delicious Buffalo Sauce with an incredible heat level to challenge the bravest heat seekers. Our all-new Fire Buffalo is a wild ride that starts off with a burst of flavor and within a few seconds will have you looking for an ice-cold drink to cool off.”
5. Along with the new Fire Buffalo sauce, Wings Over is introducing a new Mild Buffalo sauce for Wings fans that want a sauce bursting with buffalo flavor but with a comfortable level of heat. Rounding out Wings Over’s revamped Buffalo Sauce lineup is a Medium Buffalo sauce (previously known as Wimpy) and a Hot Buffalo sauce (previously known as Cruisin’ Altitude).
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6. Leyva added, “We truly have something for everyone now. Fire for the fearless, and this incredible new Mild Buffalo sauce that is perfect for guests who want the classic buffalo flavor without much heat.”
Made QSR Magazine’s 40/40 List for 2021
7. In early 2021, QSR Magazine released its 40/40 List for 2021. The list features 40 fast-casual concepts with less than 40 locations that are primed for growth and future success. Wings Over was included on this list and QSR discussed how the brand is surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and its plans for the future.
8. The feature started out with the story of how Wings Over came under new ownership in 2017. According to QSR, “It all started as a joke among a group of Cornell alumni. Wings Over, their favorite restaurant in Ithaca, New York, was closing, and Dan Leyva texted his friends to suggest they reopen the franchise there.” Leyva added, “I was really just joking when I sent that text message. But by the end of that evening, it had turned into a very real opportunity. And within a couple of months, we had a lease signed.”
9. Things progressed from there. Leyva said the business partners found opportunities to improve “literally every single part of the business” as franchisees, from its training standards to its food quality to its POS technology. And in October 2017, Leyva and his friends acquired the whole company, which had grown to 30-plus locations in about 20 years. What followed was a soup-to-nuts reimagining of the brand built around three core values: great people, amazing food, and “smileable experiences.”
10. While Wings Over had previously thrived in college towns, Leyva – now the chief wing officer – said the new ownership team saw potential in the universal appeal of the menu, which includes not just wings, but also chicken sandwiches, salads, and even ribs. Leyva said, “When you think about who eats this type of food, it’s everybody: It’s kids, it’s parents, it’s moms, it’s dads, it’s business people, it’s late-night drunk kids. When you go to a sports bar to have wings, that’s one type of environment, and there’s a place for that. But we wanted to focus on having fresh chicken where we hand-breaded and cooked to order. That allowed us to focus on being a family-friendly type of establishment.”
11. When COVID-19 hit, the Wings Over team quickly shut down dining rooms and has kept them closed ever since (as of the date of the article). It ramped up its digital services to accommodate takeout and delivery, and it placed a priority on ensuring its teams were safe and community members in need were fed. Beyond that, Wings Over leaders took the opportunity to reevaluate the business infrastructure and tighten the screws.
12. Levya said that he isn’t too concerned about the flood of wings brands that have sprung up during the pandemic, particularly as virtual concepts. He said Wings Over’s quality and long history with delivery are differentiating factors. Indeed, many of the challenges that lie ahead for the brand are things it was already working on prior to COVID.
13. According to Leyva, “How do we make the overall pickup experience better? How do we make sure that you get the right notification when your food’s ready so that you could be waiting in your car or waiting outside? How do we make sure that the estimate that you’re getting for your food is as accurate as possible? How do we do something similar to the Domino’s Pizza Tracker? We thought we had two, three, four years to accomplish all those [challenges]. All of that has been fast-tracked.”
14. Wings Over will open a few more locations in 2021 before prioritizing additional growth in the Northeast and Midwest in the coming years.
15. Wings Over was founded in 1998 by Patrick Daly and Harold Tramazzo at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Daly and Tramazzo set out to create food that was quick, affordable, yet better quality than other chains around the university. The wings Daly and Tramazzo created were a hit with the local college students, and Wings Over developed a cult following. Over the next few years, Daly and Tramazzo opened additional locations around college campuses in the region.
16. Daly and Tramazzo continued to own and operate Wings Over, but the company’s growth had stalled and several locations were closed. In 2017, Delectable Capital, which is run by a group of college friends who had loved the Wings Over location near Cornell University, initially bought one franchise in Ithaca, New York. However, they were frustrated with the parent company’s lack of investment in the brand, and approached Daly and Tramazzo about buying the company.
17. Following the acquisition, Wings Over launched an extensive rebranding campaign, which included improving the menu, overhauling the chain’s online ordering system, and updating the restaurant design and branding. Delectable Capital hopes that the changes will fuel the national growth of Wings Over as the chicken wing market continues to grow in the U.S.
Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500
18. Wings Over did not rank on Entrepreneur’s 2021 Franchise 500 list.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of Wings Over franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2021 FDD.
Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees
- Please click here for detailed information on Wings Over’s initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2021 FDD.
Section IV – Number of Franchised and Company-Owned Outlets
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 35
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 34
- Net Change: -1
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 34
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 30
- Net Change: -4
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 30
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 26
- Net Change: -4
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 1
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 3
- Net Change: +2
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 3
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 8
- Net Change: +5
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 8
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 8
- Net Change: 0
Section V – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2021 FDD) and Analysis
- This Item 19 presents historical gross sales data for franchised and company-owned Wings Over businesses that were open for the entire 2019 fiscal year (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019) and the entire 2020 fiscal year (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020), with certain exceptions (as described below).
- Wings Over has not audited or verified this information. Wings Over relied solely on the information provided through each outlet’s point-of-sale computer systems.
Part 1 – Gross Sales for Franchised Outlets
- Part 1 below presents gross sales information for certain franchised outlets in operation during fiscal years 2019 and 2020.
- Gross sales presented for fiscal year 2019 were generated by 30 of 34 franchised outlets operating during that fiscal year.
- The information provided does not include three franchised outlets that closed permanently during fiscal year 2019, nor one franchised outlet that was reacquired by Wings Over during that year.
- In 2019, 13 (43%) of the reported franchised outlets met or exceeded the franchised average of gross sales, and 17 (57%) of the reported franchised outlets did not meet or exceed the franchised average of gross sales.
- Gross sales presented for fiscal year 2020 were generated by 27 of the 30 franchised outlets in operation during that fiscal year, including one franchised outlet that operated for all but one month of fiscal year 2020 and then closed permanently.
- The information provided does not include one other franchised outlet that ceased operating under a franchise agreement during fiscal year 2020, nor two franchised outlets that were reacquired by Wings Over during that year.
- In 2020, 12 (44%) of the reported franchised outlets met or exceeded the franchised average of gross sales, and 15 (56%) of the reported franchised outlets did not meet or exceed the franchised average of gross sales.
- Highest Gross Sales: $3,344,413
- Average Gross Sales: $1,395,054
- Median Gross Sales: $1,280,766
- Lowest Gross Sales: $546,209
- Highest Gross Sales: $3,202,274
- Average Gross Sales: $1,459,867
- Median Gross Sales: $1,432,480
- Lowest Gross Sales: $491,856
Part 2 – Gross Sales of Company-Owned Outlets
- Part 2 below presents gross sales information for certain company-owned outlets in operation during fiscal years 2019 and 2020.
- Gross sales presented for fiscal year 2019 were generated by 7 of the 8 company-owned outlets operating during that fiscal year, including 3 of the 4 company-owned outlets that opened during fiscal year 2019 and the one franchised outlet that was reacquired by the franchisor or its affiliate during that year.
- The information provided for fiscal year 2019 excludes one company-owned outlet that opened during the fiscal year but was in operation for less than 6 months of that year.
- In 2019, 2 (29%) of the reported company-owned outlets met or exceeded the company-owned average of gross sales, and 5 (71%) of the reported company-owned outlets did not meet or exceed the company-owned average of gross sales.
- Gross sales presented for fiscal year 2020 were generated by 8 of the 8 company-owned outlets operating during that fiscal year, including one company-owned outlet that closed for approximately 4 months during the year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and two franchised outlets that were reacquired by the franchisor or its affiliate during that year.
- In 2020, 4 (50%) of the reported company-owned outlets met or exceeded the company-owned average of gross sales and 4 (50%) of the reported company-owned outlets did not meet or exceed the company-owned average of gross sales.
- Highest Gross Sales: $2,829,568
- Average Gross Sales: $1,207,072
- Median Gross Sales: $692,185
- Lowest Gross Sales: $376,007
- Highest Gross Sales: $2,778,952
- Average Gross Sales: $1,010,640
- Median Gross Sales: $1,247,651
- Lowest Gross Sales: $342,439
- “Gross Sales” means all revenue from the sale of all products and services and all other income of every kind and nature at or from the Restaurant or otherwise related to the Restaurant, including any proceeds from business interruption insurance, whether for cash or credit, and regardless of collection in the case of credit.
- Gross Sales will not include any sales taxes or other taxes collected from customers by you and paid directly to the appropriate taxing authority.
- The products and beverages sold at all of the above locations are similar to those that will be offered by you, including boneless chicken wings, bone-in chicken wings, ribs, specialty sandwiches, and Coca Cola products. The outlets obtained the majority of sales from carry-out and delivery services.
- Some outlets have earned this amount. Your individual results may differ. There is no assurance that you’ll earn as much.