After a year of key triumphs to further cement its place as one of the most exciting chicken concepts in its category, North Carolina-based Wing It On! is looking ahead to 2022 with a renewed sense of vigor to take the brand to the next level.
Wing It On! has had its foot on the gas with franchise development since the start of the year, strengthening its hold on existing markets and creating a new legion of wing nuts with the openings in fresh territories. In 2021, nine new franchise agreements were signed to add 17 new units that grew the brand’s presence in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. Three new locations opened this past year in Sandy Springs, Georgia; Spring, Texas and Trussville, Alabama, bringing the total number of open locations to nine. In 2022, Wing It On! expects to open multiple new locations throughout the East Coast, Southeast and Southwest, including in Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Texas.
“We are thrilled about the strides we’ve made in 2021 as an emerging brand. Despite all the chaos of the restaurant industry over recent years, Wing It On! stayed the course and came out on top in 2021,” says Matt Ensero, founder and CEO of Wing It On!. “We’ve laid the foundation for us to take 2022 by storm, starting with exciting meu innovations, significant brand sponsorships and incredible growth with a roster of exceptional franchisees and corporate team members. We can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for Wing It On!.”
In addition to the exciting developments in its franchise growth, Wing It On! certified its position as a leader in the category after being the official sponsor of the 2021 U.S. Chicken Wing Eating Championship on September 5, held in the chicken wing capital of the world: Buffalo, New York. The brand will repeat as the official sponsor of the competition again in 2022. Wing It On! also continued to give fans what they want with mouthwatering new menu innovations. The brand’s offerings expanded to include a lineup of new crispy chicken sandwiches, Nashville hot sauce and their bite-sized Nuggz. In all, over 2 million classic wings, 505,414 boneless tenders and 74,928 sandwiches were enjoyed by Wing It On! fans in 2021.
Wing It On! has earned a loyal fan following redefining the standards for fresh and crispy wings. With a simplified, innovative menu, fans of the brand have favored the true Buffalo-quality wing cooked and sauced or seasoned to perfection. In addition to its famous wings and boneless tenders, Wing It On! also serves a full-line up of hand-crafted crispy chicken sandwiches, sides and irresistible customizable seasoned fries.
Creating an exceptional wing experience goes back to the early 2000s when Ensero, and his friends would argue amongst themselves every football Sunday about who was driving 30-plus minutes to pick up wings from some of their favorite spots in surrounding towns. However, the distance and Styrofoam take out boxes would always result in soggy and cold wings once they got home. Ensero had enough, hence, Wing It On! was born. He opened the first Wing It On! in his hometown Waterbury, Connecticut, serving only the crispiest of wings that all true wing nuts crave.
“The new franchisees that joined us in 2021 have been perfect additions to the Wing It On! family. They’ve been instrumental in bringing our better wings, wiches, tenders and Nuggz to new markets and creating new Wing It On! fans,” says Ensero. “With a solid foundation laid, I anticipate us growing with even more passionate and results-driven operators in 2022.”
The attractiveness of the franchise model is only enhanced with its flexible design footprint. Takeout and delivery drive nearly 90 percent of store revenues, meaning overhead is kept low with just a small portion of the restaurant reserved for dine-in. Locations can range from less than 1,000 square feet up to 1,700 square feet, with the “sweet spot” being 1,200-1,500 square foot stores.
Offering a built-in digital experience that franchisees can leverage for online ordering, a mobile app and third-party delivery integration software, the Wing It On! digital operating model fosters a low initial investment and higher sales per square foot. Wing It On! also offers a food truck franchise option to drive additional revenues.
As the brand continues to expand into key markets, Wing It On! is actively seeking qualified single-unit and multi-unit owners looking to invest with an emerging brand in the fast-growing chicken segment that keeps operations simple. Ideal franchisees should have business or operations experience and a passion for the restaurant industry – if you’re a wing nut, even better. Franchisees must have a minimum net worth of $400,000 and meet the minimum liquid assets requirement of $100,000.