Recent work for a franchisee of WingStop (a Top-50 national chain in the quick-serve restaurant industry) proves that local broker knowledge can be indispensable, even when the chain itself has strict guidelines.
The issue was demographics, where the head office in Dallas instructs its operators to pursue only certain neighborhoods with an “ideal” mix of incomes, density and ethnicity.
When following the guidelines, one unit here in northeast Ohio turned in a less than stellar performance, even though it hit every requirement of a typical WingStop.
In acquiring the next site, we were able to convince the franchisor to get behind a different sort of ethnic and income mix, that provided steady traffic at all hours of the day (especially from 6:00 pm to midnight, when most wings and fries are sold) due to road patterns, other quick-serve food players in the vicinity, and demand generators like hotels or a cinema. Because the name WingStop is not generally known here yet and customers may think it’s a mom-and-pop (they recently exceeded 1,000 stores), the sales started slowly but have been steadily building, to the point where year two performance was 30% over year one and continues to grow.