Wingstop announces Dave Vernon has been promoted to chief development officer where he will be responsible for the overall growth of the franchise network, including domestic, international, and non-traditional expansion.
In many respects, Cinnabon isn’t the brand it was just one decade ago. From the company’s growing beverage line to menu introductions like Center of the Roll and Cinnabon Stix, life within a Cinnabon’s four walls has shifted in the 21st century.
But executives realized a few years ago that the look of Cinnabon’s stores hadn’t similarly changed with the times. The brand’s so-called “heritage” look—a tile-dominated space outlined in blonde wood—had become dated and uninspired, lacking pop and contemporary charisma.
Thanks to the dedication of veteran franchisee Donnie Reeves, Wingstop is officially landing in Utah next year.
As a former owner-operator of multiple Wingstop locations in El Paso, Texas, and current owner of two in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, area, Reeves recently decided to forgo retirement in favor of signing a five-store development agreement to open the award-winning wing chain in Utah.
Wingstop, the award-winning wing chain with more than 520 restaurants, opened its first Seattle-area location in Bellevue, Washington.
“We’re excited to introduce Seattle to the Wingstop experience,” says general manager Greg Southern. “As the wing experts, we’re committed to serving fresh, made-to-order chicken wings, and Bellevue is the perfect spot for fans to get the first taste of our signature flavors and sides.”
As the first Wingstop in Seattle-Tacoma, the Bellevue location is the first of several Wingstop restaurants planned over the next few years.
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.
Wingstop announces that same store sales for the third quarter are up 16 percent over the same quarter last year and 13 percent for the year to date.
Now that football teams across the country are facing off in the NFL’s 2012 season, which kicked off last week, many quick serves are beginning a gridiron contest of their own.
Marketing and advertising efforts designed around the NFL are an increasingly hot commodity in the industry. But in the NFL, which has strict rules on branded stadium signage, getting in front of viewer eyeballs without buying commercial airtime is a tricky proposition. This has led several brands to develop broadcast partnerships as part of their NFL strategy.
Wingstop’s executive chairman of the board, Jim Flynn, isn’t shy about comparing his brand to McDonald’s.
“I want to say we’re going to be the McDonald’s of the wing industry, and basically, we are at this point,” he says. “Because there’s nobody else this big.”
“They’re one of the best-kept secrets in [quick service],” says Gary Stibel, who has consulted for companies from McDonald’s to Yum! and is now CEO of the New England Consulting Group. “In new markets, they can define the way the game is played.”
Just as football season is heating up, Wingstop and the University of Miami announced that the award-winning chicken wing chain was named the Preferred Wings of the University of Miami Hurricanes.
As a new official partner, University of Miami student, alumni, and fans, will receive exclusive offers and giveaways at the 13 Wingstop restaurants throughout South Florida.
Wingstop will also host a VIP pregame tailgate at the Miami vs FSU showdown in October, as well as co-host the Sideline Club during all home games.