Wingstop’s business is on fire.
Sales at the newly public company soared 9% in the most recent quarter, double what analysts at Morgan Stanley were expecting. That puts it among the best in the industry.
The company “is uniquely positioned in the market as it has characteristics as both a high growth, emerging national brand and a stable, cash-generative, nearly all franchised business that is capable of returning capital to shareholders on a regular basis,” according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.
And Wingstop plans to continue expanding. The chain, which was founded in 1994, already has over 750 units around the world.
Wingstop is somewhere between a Buffalo Wild Wings and a Chipotle. It’s fast-casual rather than sit-down, and allows customers to choose from an array of wing sauces and sides. About 75% of its orders are take-out, according to company representatives.
Rapper Rick Ross owns multiple franchises, according to Forbes. He’s even rapped about Wingstop.
We wanted to find out why everyone loves Wingstop so much.
After tasting the company’s wings a few weeks ago, the answer was simple: These wings were delicious.
Favourite flavours in our office included the lemon pepper and the barbecue.
A more discerning taster said some of the flavours were too salty, save for the lemon pepper and the Louisiana rub.
Not everyone was a fan of the garlic Parmesan, either. Some people found the cheesy topping to be disconcerting.
But it didn’t matter, because everything else seemed to be a hit — especially the rolls, which are similar to those served at Texas Roadhouse.
“The bread was amazing!” One person said. Another said they were the best rolls he ever had.
The wings are available with the bones and boneless and in 11 flavours: atomic, mango habanero, Cajun, original hot, Louisiana rub, mild, hickory smoked BBQ, lemon pepper, garlic Parmesan, Hawaiian, and teriyaki. The wings are cooked to order. Wingstop also offers four dipping sauces: ranch, blue cheese, honey mustard, and cheese sauce.
Wingstop’s menu also has ample sides: the much-loved rolls, hand-cut fries, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, and veggie sticks.
Wingstop informed Business Insider that the chain is unique in that all of the wings are made fresh and are never frozen. The blue cheese dressing is also made in-house.
While Wingstop shares some similarities with Buffalo Wild Wings, company executives are quick to point out the differences.
“Buffalo Wild Wings is a completely different experience. They do a wonderful job but their experience is about sports, TVs, the beer, and the bar,” CMO Flynn Dekker told First We Feast. “In a lot of cases, we’re in the exact same parking lot and we both do great. So, I don’t think we really compete.”
He also told the food website the reason Wingstop has such a zealous following is because it focuses on making its wings really good. “I think the people that thrive and survive over time are the people that do one thing and do it better than everybody else. That’s what we are. I think that’s why we have such a passionate fan base.”
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