Wingstop is expanding in Ohio. The 570-unit chicken wing chain has signed a four-store development agreement to grow its presence throughout the Cincinnati area.

The agreement is with Los Pollos Hermanos LLC, a group comprised of longtime business partners and Cincinnati residents Maurice Vilaboy and John Wacker.

Prior to signing with Wingstop, Wacker owned and operated a regional retail chain with 14 locations based out of Cincinnati and Vilaboy ran the business as the head of Distribution, Information Technology, and Marketing.After deciding to pursue a restaurant business venture, the partners knew they wanted to open a fast-casual concept and through their research, they landed on Wingstop.

“Being a native of Cincinnati, I wanted to bring together two things that locals love: homemade food and chicken wings,” Vilaboy says. “We didn't want to open another sandwich shop or burger place, and with Wingstop, we found a concept with fresh, made-to-order wings and awesome homemade sides. It has a simple operating platform and focus on a quality product. That was important to us as operators.”

Texas-based Wingstop has one restaurant in Cleveland and one in Columbus, with plans to add two stores in the Columbus area this summer. Vilaboy and Wacker’s location will be the first for Cincinnati.

“We’re currently in the process of looking at sites in the Western Hills area and plan to open our first location this fall,” Wacker says. “Cincinnati is a new market for the Wingstop brand and we are excited to introduce new fans to the wings.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Wingstop