What is in this article?:
- Buffalo Wild Wingsâ€™ prototype targets repeat customers
- Creating a community
Buffalo Wild Wings' new prototype is designed to be more effecient in both the front and back of the house.
Buffalo Wild Wings unveiled a new look Monday at a new restaurant in Cincinnati that aims to bring the feel of the sports stadium to its casual-dining locations.
Recreating the stadium experience is not about replicating the stadium seating and scoreboards, but capturing the same energy and social interaction of the ballpark, officials for Minneapolis-based casual-dining chain told Nation’s Restaurant News Monday from the grand opening of the new prototype.
“If you’re not in the stadium to watch the game, then we want you to be here,” said Bob Ruhland, vice president of marketing. “Getting the restaurant as close to the environment and feel of that stadium is what we’re striving for.”
The brand of nearly 900 units is scheduled to open another new prototype in San Diego. Most of its new openings and all remodels in 2013 will adopt the design of this prototype.
Buffalo Wild Wings is targeting incremental traffic from its core demographic groups rather than trial from new guests with the new design, Ruhland said. Based on consumer research from Simmons, Buffalo Wild Wings has identified a market of about 26 million core guests, or “MVPs,” he added.
“We’re currently getting about 6 million of those MVPs [in the restaurants] regularly,” he said. “Proximity is a big deal in that, but we feel there’s a huge opportunity to find that other 12 million to 20 million people who are light guests. We look at Buffalo Wild Wings as being the sports fan’s biggest fan [with these changes].”
Subbing in new styles
Bill Ferris, the brand’s director of store design, said the new prototype was developed to gain efficiencies in both the front and back of the house.
Dining spaces are more clearly divided into zones, allowing some guests to choose a quieter, more intimate place to eat near the front of the restaurant, while others opt to be closer to the action, which Buffalo Wild Wings is attempting to corral around the bar in the center of the dining room.
The Cincinnati prototype has 80 TV screens in the dining room to give guests more opportunities to watch different games, and the acoustics were re-engineered to optimize the sound of the main game being played. Ferris estimated that the prototype’s total audiovisual components would increase approximately 20 percent to 25 percent.