Industry News | September 18, 2000

Wingstop Closes Markets to New Franchisees

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Antonio Swad, founder of Wingstop Restaurants, Inc., announced today the closure of the Austin, San Antonio, Waco, and Dallas/Fort Worth markets to new franchisees.

The Dallas-based chicken wing franchise has been growing at a rapid pace since it began offering franchises in 1998. Currently, there are 20 stores in operation and 17 more under development across the United States in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

"We will continue to open restaurants in the Austin, San Antonio, Waco, and Dallas/Fort Worth areas. However, they will be opened by our existing franchise owners," said Swad. Swad developed a franchisee-friendly corporate philosophy that provides competitive protection to existing storeowners by not allowing other franchise owners to open Wingstop stores within a three-mile radius of an existing store. Also, Wingstop endeavors to make the opportunity more profitable for their franchisees by closing markets before they become saturated so that exiting franchisees can open stores in the remaining areas.

"As long as current eligible franchisees continue to expand in the closed markets, we will keep them closed, said Jim Deering, Wingstop vice president. We anticipate closing the Houston market in 18 months."

So far, seven of their franchise owners have opened additional stores in: Dallas, Arlington, San Antonio, Killeen, and Austin. One franchisee has a pending nine-store agreement in St. Louis.

The growth strategy is quite simple. Franchise requests and approvals along with real estate availability currently drive where and when a store will open, along with real estate availability. Upon the success of a store, additional stores are added to the area.

"We currently receive approximately 200 requests per month for franchise information," said Deering. Wingstop restaurants typically operate most effectively in strip shopping centers and only a small amount of square footage is needed for each store.

Wingstop is a Dallas, Texas based franchise operation founded by restaurant veteran, Antonio Swad. The restaurant offers a nostalgic, aviation-themed atmosphere where the sole focus is on chicken wings. They feature eight unique wing flavors: Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian Barbeque, and Garlic Parmesan. Customers can also choose from a variety of beers, soft drinks, and homemade side dishes: bourbon-baked beans, fresh-cut seasoned fries, pearl potato salad, vegetable sticks, rolls, and assorted dipping sauces.