Wing Zone

Wing Zone Wants Women to Take a Skinny Dipper

With many diners across the country still trying to make good on their New Year’s resolutions to stick to a healthier diet, Wing Zone is trying to cash in on their hard-fought efforts.

Its newest chicken product, Skinny Dippers—unbreaded, 100 percent white chicken breast that’s fried and flavored-fused in one of the brand’s 17 flavors—plays up this health angle.

Winging It

It would seem strange these days to attend a Super Bowl party that didn’t have chicken wings available on the snack line. Wings are America’s “party food,” showing up at all manner of celebrations, from tailgating to graduation parties.

But now that party is extending to the quick-serve industry, with wings showing up on menus at concepts one might otherwise not expect to carry them. For example, Veggie Grill, a sandwich and burger concept, added wings in the spring of 2011. Taco John’s, a Mexican concept, did so in the fall of 2011.

Wing Zone Moves from Delivery to Drive Thru

Stepping away from the foundation of your business may be dangerous, but that’s just what Wing Zone did with the opening of its brand new flagship restaurant in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna, Georgia.

The 1,600-square-foot location is not only the brand’s first drive-thru restaurant, but it’s also the brand’s first and only nondelivery store.

“We’ve been in business since 1993,” says CEO and cofounder Matt Friedman. “We’ve opened over 100 locations, with most of them, or really all of them, having a delivery focus. So this is big news for us.”

The Drive-Thru Fixer-Upper

On a recent visit to shop his competition, operator Thom Crosby saw disappointment after disappointment in the drive thru. Bad customer service while placing and paying for his order, poorly dressed employees, and backed-up cars plagued operation after operation.

But to Crosby, the experience was more than just a bad lunch. It epitomized all that can go wrong with a broken drive thru.

Extreme Makeover: Wing Zone Edition

Wing Zone has completed a comprehensive brand make-over of its franchise operation with a total focus on flavor. Design Coup Inc. a brand development agency in Decatur, Georgia, used its Brand Story approach to reshape the brand message, food concept, graphics, and operations to celebrate Wing Zone's amazing flavors and its loyal Flavorholic customers.

One to Watch: Wing Zone

The idea for Wing Zone was hatched in a fraternity house in 1991, but the first store didn’t open until two years later. Take-out and delivery wings were the brainstorm of fraternity brothers Matt Friedman and Adam Scott, who, while studying at the University of Florida, wanted to feed themselves and fellow Gators something besides the delivery mainstays of pizza and subs.

Mission: International

The U.S. Commercial Service is helping startup U.S. brands expand into high-potential international markets.

On April 10, Mauricio Acevedo, the CEO of Miami-based crepe concept BannaStrow’s, will head to India to visit Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. While there, Acevedo will meet with entrepreneurs who are interested in partnering with the brand to open stores in each market.

The Art of Site Selection

Being in the right place at the right time is the key to success in any business. And as the nation finally begins to climb out of one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, a number of quick-service companies are advising their franchisees that, with soft real estate prices, lower construction costs, and increasing availability of capital loans from lending institutions, now is the right time to get growing again—as long as the sites are right.

After 18 Months of Work, Wing Zone Open in Panama

For 18 months, executives at Atlanta-based Wing Zone laid groundwork for the brand’s launch into international expansion. In November, they finally tasted the fruit of that labor when the first international Wing Zone unit opened in Panama.

Matt Friedman, founder and CEO of the chicken wing chain, says it’s safe to say the opening was a success.

‘The International Plan’

Population. U.S. proximity. Financing. Footprint. The right partners. Those were just a few of the factors that mid-sized quick serve Wing Zone considered in choosing the first international market to represent its expanding brand.

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