Buffalo Wild Wings' new owner shuts down rumours that the chain will serve curly fries following $2.9 billion deal with Arby's

  • A $US2.9 billion deal that brought Buffalo Wild Wings and Arby’s together under a new operating company sparked rumours regarding menu crossover.
  • CEO Paul Brown said that Buffalo Wild Wings will not begin selling curly fries, despite demand.
  • Instead, the chains will share learnings on things like product development and tech.

Arby’s $US2.9 billion deal to acquire Buffalo Wild Wings had people buzzing about the consequences for the future of chain restaurants.

Would Arby’s begin serving beer and selling wings? Will there be new sauces added to the mix? And, most importantly, will Buffalo Wild Wings start serving curly fries?

Paul Brown Arby's CEOHollis Johnson/Business InsiderInspire Brands CEO Paul Brown

“As many requests as we’ve gotten for curly fries at a Buffalo Wild Wings, and we’ve gotten a lot of them … we’re not going to do that,” CEO Paul Brown told Business Insider.

Brown did say that, with both Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings under the umbrella of the newly formed Inspire Brands operating group, there is some consideration of testing beer at select Arby’s.

But for the most part, the average customer won’t be able to notice much of an immediate difference at Arby’s or Buffalo Wild Wings following the deal.

“You can share between the two without blurring the lines between which is one, which is the other,” Brown said.

Instead of Buffalo Wild Wings becoming more like Arby’s, and vice versa, Brown wants to play up differences to attract diverging sets of customers, while collaborating between brands behind the scenes.

For example, Buffalo Wild Wings will take notes from how Arby’s develops new products, as the sandwich chain has found success with more creative – and sometimes bizarre – offerings such as a venison sandwich and the oversized Meat Mountain. Meanwhile, Arby’s will have access to Buffalo Wild Wings’ more developed mobile ordering technology.

“We want to double down on what makes them different, but share some learnings between them,” Brown said.

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