Buffalo Wild Wings sales rose 6% in the third quarter.
The good news comes at a time when casual dining chains like Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Applebee’s are struggling to attract customers.
Shares are soaring in after-hours trading, a sign that Wall Street believes the restaurant chain’s growth will continue.
Here are a few reasons business is booming.
1. Paying attention to the calendar. This year has been full of sporting events, from the NCAA tournament to the World Cup. Buffalo Wild Wings pays special attention to the calendar and times promotions around these events, executives told analysts and investors on a conference call. Advertising restaurants as a go-to place to watch games was an effective tactic, writes Mark Brandau at Nation’s Restaurant News.
2. Improving the experience. Buffalo Wild Wings has implemented several changes to make eating there more convenient. More than 190 restaurants have added tableside tablets, which allow customers to play games while they’re waiting for food. The brand is also installing technology to pay at your table, eliminating the annoying wait after a meal.
3. Server technology. Buffalo Wild Wings is planning to equip servers with hand-held systems for sending orders to the kitchen or accepting payment from diners, Brandau writes. This will improve communication between servers and cooks and will help accuracy.
4. Focused strategy. Buffalo Wild Wings focuses on beer, wings, and sports, CEO Sally Smith told Business Insider last year. While casual dining restaurants in general work to differentiate in the space, Buffalo Wild Wings has succeeded by focusing on its strengths.
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