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At 25, Wingstop Has No Plans to Slow Down

Wingstop's unit count has climbed above 1,250 U.S. restaurants, plus nearly 130 franchised locations outside the U.S. Let’s see what else they have planned…

Photo Courtesy of NRN.

Wingstop Inc. just notched its 25th year in business, and Chairman and CEO Charlie Morrison said their staying power reflects the strengths now powering its drive to become a Top 10 global restaurant brand.

In fiscal 2018, Wingstop posted systemwide sales of $1.26 billion, up 16% year over year.

U.S. same-store sales gained 6.5%. Total restaurant locations climbed 10.5%.

During the last three years, they had a compound annual growth rate of 15% in systemwide sales and 14% in unit development.

Wingstop’s initial public offering in June 2015 has helped spur its expansion.

Growth drivers include “fortressing” of key U.S. markets, international expansion, more national advertising, broader delivery service and continued migration to a digital platform — with a goal of being able to digitize every transaction.

Nation’s Restaurant News 2019 Top 200 census has Wingstop at No. 49 with U.S. sales of more than $1.21 billion, up from No. 50 a year earlier.

Wingstop identified 25 designated market areas in the U.S., including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, No. Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Wingstop is targeting 25 key markets, for a total of around 3,000 international locations. They now have 128 franchised restaurants in nine countries.

Other nations identified as expansion opportunities include Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Poland, Ireland, Germany and France.

Wingstop also is increasingly considering nontraditional locations such as airports, university campuses, food courts, stadiums, casinos and travel centers.

Through its partnership with DoorDash, the chain now offers delivery at just over half of its U.S. restaurants.

To accommodate its growth, Wingstop acquired a 78,000-square-foot, three-story modern office building in Addison, Texas, to serve as its new headquarters.

2019 NRN.

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