What is in this article?:
- Restaurant industry heavyweights talk growth for 2013
- Yum: An eye on India
- Dunkin': Filling in 'white space'
- Buffalo Wild Wings: Sales drivers in full swing
- Chipotle: Focusing on marketing, menu
Darden Restaurants, Yum! Brands, Dunkin’ Brands, Buffalo Wild Wings and Chipotle Mexican Grill reveal growth plans at the Robert W. Baird & Co. 2013 Growth Stock Conference.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Sales drivers in full swing
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The Minneapolis-based purveyor of wings, beer and sports currently has about 900 casual-dining restaurants in the United States and a handful of units in Canada, and the brand envisions as many as 1,700 locations in North America, chief financial officer Mary Twinem said.
But in addition to unit growth, the brand also has several sales-driving initiatives, including a new prototype, a new wing pricing structure, an upcoming signature craft beer and its “Guest Experience” business model.
Buffalo Wild Wings currently is on track to build about 60 company-owned locations and 45 franchised restaurants in 2013, which would account for a unit-growth rate between 11 percent and 12 percent, said Jeff Sorum, vice president and corporate controller.
“As we get closer to that 1,700 [store count], somewhere in the range of 1,400 to 1,500 units, that cadence will probably slow,” he said. “As you fill out those last few trade areas they’re a little more difficult to penetrate. You typically have to wait for somebody to vacate a spot.”
As domestic expansion starts to level off, Buffalo Wild Wings naturally would look toward international growth, Sorum said. “We’ve signed deals in the Middle East for Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., and the first of those units will be opening this year,” he said. “We have three different partners in Mexico who will open units by the end of the year. And we’ve had very exciting visits to Southeast Asia: Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, just to name a few.”