One chicken wing place to consider bringing to your area is Buffalo Wild Wings. This sports bar / chicken wing destination has over 1,000 units and demonstrated consistent growth for more than a decade.
How much does it cost to open a Buffalo Wild Wings? You can expect the investment range for this chicken wing place to be around $2,466,500 to $4,604,800 and the franchise fee is $25,000. To begin franchising, you’ll need a liquid capital of $750,000 and a net worth of $1,500,000.
Are you ready to own a Buffalo Wild Wings? I break down the detailed expenses, advantages, and disadvantages of this chain moving forward. Take our 7-minute franchise quiz to find out if BWW’s is the right restaurant chain for you.
Financial Requirements and Fees
The following are the financial requirements and fees to expect when you franchise Buffalo Wild Wings:
|Fees / Expenses
|$2,466,500 to $4,604,800
In addition, expect a royalty fee of 5% and ad royalty fees of 3.25%. This adds up to total fees of 8.25%. Buffalo Wild Wings also states that signing up with them also means that there is a minimum commitment to develop at least 2 restaurants. Since you need to franchise two restaurants, it supports the higher net-worth requirements compared to similar restaurants like Wingstop. Wingstop only requires a net-worth of $1.2 million to qualify. The term of agreement to run Buffalo Wild Wings is 20 years and is renewable.
As for international applicants who wish to bring Buffalo Wild Wings to their country, the chicken wing chain requires a minimum of $5 million in liquid assets and a net worth of $10 million. Their term for international applicants is that there is a minimum commitment to develop at least 10 restaurants. So if you’re planning to open BWW’s in India and the Philippines, these are the financial requirements.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
Buffalo Wild Wings recorded revenues of $3.114 billion in 2020, a drop from their sales in 2019 that was recorded to be around $3.669 billion. The pandemic was the primary catalyst of the drop and many locations were forced to shutter their doors temporarily.
Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Facts
|Buffalo Wild Wings
|Full Service Restaurants
|Food and Beverage
Buffalo Wild Wings started in 1982 and was founded by Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery. The two were from Buffalo, New York who moved to Ohio and were craving for authentic Buffalo chicken wings. That led them to opening their own Buffalo wings place. It was named Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck at first before it was ultimately changed to Buffalo Wild Wings.
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At present, Buffalo Wild Wings is known as a sports bar that serves food and beer. The menu consists of chicken wings, chicken tenders, salads, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, greens, and their extensive line of seasonings and sauces sold in grocery stores and Walmart. They feature over 23 sauces which have become a hit to customers.
The following are the sauces that Buffalo Wild Wings offers:
- Salt and Vinegar Seasoning
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Sweet BBQ
- Lemon Pepper
- Parmesan Garlic
- Honey BBQ
- Chipotle BBQ Seasoning
- Spicy Garlic
- Orange Chicken
- Asian Zing
- Carribean Jerk
- Buffalo Seasoning
- Jammin Jalapeño
- Thai Curry
- Nashville Hot
- Original Buffalo
- Mango Habanero
- Desert Heat Seasoning
- Blazin Carolina Reaper
Buffalo Wild Wings has over 1,200 locations in the United States. The restaurant chain now has locations in India, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. They’re considered as the largest sports bar brand in the United States and are ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 Top Food category.
To franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, you can complete the inquiry form found here to begin the process. Once they hear from you, their Franchise Development Team will reach out to you and present the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) for the company. At this point, a company representative may also ask you to fill out a franchise application form wherein they’ll conduct financial inquiry, credit and background checks.
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If all goes well, you’ll then be able to meet their Franchising and Operations leadership team to discuss the business and go through an interview process. Site development will also be reviewed and will eventually lead to a signing of a Development Agreement upon approval from Buffalo Wild Wings’ Financial, Operations, and Executive Team.
The design elements of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant consist of the following:
- Dominant bar anchoring indoor and outdoor dining areas
- Free flowing and flexible seating areas
- VIP spaces for guests
- Stadium-like A/V technology with LED modular screens
- Dedicated takeout access for guests
Buffalo Wild Wings is owned by Inspire Brands. The company bought them for $130 million in 2018. They also own Arby’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco, and Sonic. The headquarters for Buffalo Wild Wings is located in Atlanta, Georgia.
How Much Does Buffalo Wild Wings Make in Profit?
According to a report from QSR, the average Buffalo Wild Wings grosses more than $180,000 per month. But how much of those sales end up hitting the bottom line as profit?
While we don’t know exactly how profitable a Buffalo Wild Wings location is, we can get an estimate by looking at the performance of other restaurants in the chicken wing industry. Take for example, Wingstop operated at a net-profit of 15.1%. If this same level of profitability holds true for BWW locations, you could expect to an average net-profit of $326,160 per year. This type of net profit is extremely impressive for a restaurant.
Advantages of a Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise
There’s a lot to like about the Buffalo Wild Wings franchise opportunity. Here are a few of them.
Buffalo Wild Wings has over a thousand units in the United States and they’re also available in India, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Having a global presence doesn’t just mean popularity. It also means that no matter where people come from, they recognize the brand and what to expect. So if you franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, rest assured you’ve invested in a globally recognized food brand.
Buffalo Wild Wings is known for their variety of 26 sauces and dips. Not only does that entice customers to keep on coming back for more to try them all out, but it attracts customers with all sorts of flavor preferences from spicy to Asian. Even Wing Stop, their major competitor, only has 11 sauces. So Buffalo Wild Wings has an edge to the flavor options.
Demand for Chicken Wings
Chicken wings never go out of style! For this year’s Super Bowl, it was projected that Americans would consume over 1.42 billion wings making chicken wings still the hottest selling snack that people love to eat. With the chicken wing industry projected to grow at 4.1% annually, demand should only increase. So if you’re thinking of opening a business that sells chicken wings this is a proven option.
Having a loyalty program that offers rewards to customers can be a big advantage to your restaurant. Buffalo Wild Wings has that covered. They offer a loyalty program where customers can sign up and earn points with their purchase. The rewards to those who availed of the program would either be free food or receive exclusive offers on their merchandise. It’s a fun way to get customers to come back regularly at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Destination for Live Events
One of the big appeals of BWW’s is the number of flat-screen televisions positioned across the restaurant. BWW’s is known for broadcasting sporting events year round, including football, hockey, basketball, baseball and college athletics. This can be a destination of out-of-market games and getting the group feel of watching a game without the expense of buying a ticket to the big game.
Challenges of a Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise
Like all other businesses, running a Buffalo Wild Wings also has its challenges. Here are a few:
Let’s face it: the items at Buffalo Wild Wings aren’t exactly healthy. Their mac and cheese have a whopping 4,770 mg of sodium while their Chicken Caesar Salad has 3,290 mg of sodium. The acceptable items are naked tenders or a side salad.
Buffalo Wild Wings looks like a sports bar the minute you get inside. You’ll draw in lots of sports enthusiasts but for those looking for a quiet restaurant to eat might not enjoy themselves. The BWW’s experience isn’t for everyone and there’s no drive-thru option that has helped alternative chicken wing concepts like Wingstop thrive during the health crisis.
Chicken Wing Shortage
All chicken wing businesses have experienced headwinds that increased prices by 20%. Fortunately, BWW’s has been able to pass along increased costs to consumers. In the future, BWW’s may need to rely on alternative proteins like chicken thighs or other parts of the animal to offer lower cost menu items.
Is the Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Right For You?
If you’re into sports bars and having a fun and wild crowd at your establishment along with serving good food and drink, then Buffalo Wild Wings is the franchise for you. What’s great about this franchise is that you can opt to bring it out of the country as well so you’re not limited to just the United States. You may also discuss to open the franchise to other countries that aren’t mentioned in the list.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before investing to determine if this concept works for you:
- Do you meet the financial requirements to qualify for BWW’s? With a minimum net-worth requirement of $1.5 million, many entrepreneurs won’t qualify.
- Do you enjoy operating a restaurant / bar business that’s open late? Operating a BWW’s on the weekend can be similar to running a bar with many locations staying open until 11 p.m. or 12 p.m.
- Do you want to operate a restaurant that doesn’t emphasize drive-thru sales in the current environment?
Is there an alternative Buffalo Wild Wings franchise?
If it’s a sports bar that serves different flavors of wings you’re looking for, check out Wings Etc. They have over 75 locations in the United States and have been franchising since 2005. They also have an extensive sauce list with over 19 flavors.
The investment to franchise Wings Etc. is $350,000 – $1,500,000 with a franchise fee of $39,500. You can check out more of the business in our full guide here. I hope this guide was able to help you make a decision whether or not to move forward with a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise.