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Antonio Swad, a restaurant veteran that entered the industry at age 15, founded Wingstop in 1994. An early chicken wing pioneer, Swad believed he would have a winning concept if he combined the broad appeal of poultry with unique and proprietary sauces and seasonings that catered to adult tastes for high quality food, made-to-order quickly. He had the foresight to base his concept around one entrée item traditionally thought of as an appetizer, the chicken wing, realizing that if his restaurants focused on doing one thing really well they would become known as “The Wing Experts”. Swad developed a nostalgic aviation-themed restaurant with eight unique and delicious chicken wing flavors, all very addictive for distinctly different reasons: Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian Barbeque, and Garlic Parmesan, along with a few choice side items.
Today, Wingstop has been franchising its concept for close to three and a half years and now has 33 restaurants open and another 60 under development in thirteen states: Texas, California, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia, Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, and now Illinois. This year, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked them as one of the ‘30 Fastest Growing Franchises’ in the nation.