Wing Zone Targets Buffalo for Franchise Expansion
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Wing Zone Targets Buffalo for Franchise Expansion

ATLANTA – Buffalonians might already be familiar with Wing Zone, a fast-growing takeout/delivery chain best noted for its 25 flavors of fresh, cooked-to-order Buffalo chicken wings, as the franchise has been a key participant at the annual wing festival since 2003. As a primary sponsor and supporter of the National Buffalo Wing Festival and after having Sept. 2, 2005 proclaimed as “Wing Zone Day” by former Buffalo Mayor Anthony M. Masiello, the franchise has announced plans to seek an area developer, to bring Wing Zone locations to western New York, boosting the region’s economy.

“We have a relationship with Buffalo. Everything we do comes back to this great city and western New York is primed and ready for Wing Zone through local franchise ownership,” said Stan Friedman, executive vice president of the 80+unit chain. “The demographics and consumer lifestyle in western New York meet Wing Zone’s expansion model and criteria. Wing Zone’s growing brand recognition nationally, excellent store economics and corporate support, combined with the right local operator, will provide a successful business venture while serving the local community.”

Over the years, Wing Zone has played an ever increasing role in Buffalo at the National Buffalo Wing Festival. In its first year participating, Wing Zone earned the “Most Creative Sauce” award (Garlic Parmesan), then was named “Out of Town Festival Favorite” and for the last two years has been the official sauce of the US Competitive Wing Eating Championships. Additionally, Wing Zone was honored with a proclamation by former Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello, for its consistent promotion of the National Buffalo Wing Festival and the City of Buffalo -- in business and in community .

Wing Zone is one of the nation’s fastest-growing take-out/delivery franchise concepts with close to 100 locations operating nationwide and 30 more in development. Interest in the Wing Zone franchise concept has significantly “heated up” since receiving coverage on the Prime Time Food Network program “Roker on the Road” and its inclusion on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 Fastest Growing U.S. Private Companies, Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500, and Franchise Times’ Fast 55.

With successful franchise locations in 25 states and chain sales totaling more than $37.5 million in 2005, Wing Zone’s focus is on growing top and bottom line sales for its franchisees and opening new units.

Additionally, Wing Zone is constantly adding new items to its menu. Recently, the chain introduced boneless Buffalo wings and Buffalo shrimp to its menu, available in both individual and party size quantities. What makes Wing Zone’s boneless wings and Buffalo shrimp unique is that customers can top them with any of Wing Zone’s 25 signature sauces, ranging from Nuclear to some of their more creative flavors, such as their award winning Garlic Parmesan, Friedman said.

“Our famous 25 flavors are built around traditional Buffalo sauces, which will always remain the staple of Wing Zone’s menu,” Friedman said. “But we’re innovators. We’re not afraid to try new things. Our culinary experts are constantly researching and adding new items to our menu to keep it fresh and current.”

The profile of an ideal area development candidate for Wing Zone would be an experienced restaurateur who has an extensive resume full of successful business ventures and is primed to take on our multi-unit, area development opportunity.

“Knowing how to handle people and having financial management experience is every bit as important as having experience handling food,” Friedman said. “The quality of our product speaks for itself and through our extensive training programs we teach new franchise partners everything they need to know about delivering the Wing Zone experience.”

About Wing Zone

Wing Zone was founded in 1991 at the University of Florida by Matt Friedman and Adam Scott, who cooked wings with homemade sauces in their fraternity house kitchen and delivered them to fellow college students. After expanding with several Wing Zone locations, Scott and Friedman began franchising Wing Zone in 1999. In 2003, the pair welcomed industry veteran Stan Friedman (no relation to Matt) as a third partner and named him Executive Vice President. As a strong advocate of urban development and minority outreach programs, Stan Friedman has been promoting diversity in franchising through governmental lobbying activities and as an active leader in the International Franchising Association’s Minorities in Franchising Committee. He also serves on the Boards of the Georgia Restaurant Association, the International Franchising Association’s Diversity Institute and is Chairman of the Board of the recently organized Atlanta Franchise Alliance.

Wing Zone currently has more than 80 locations open, with 30 more in development, many of which will be open by the end of 2006. While earning customer loyalty from consumers nationwide, Wing Zone is also receiving accolades from, community, food service and franchise industry insiders as well. In fact, Wing Zone was rated a Top 20 New Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, included in Bond’s Top 100 Franchise Opportunities, ranked in Franchise Times’ Fast 55 and was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing, privately held companies in America. For more information about Wing Zone or the festival, visit www.wingzone.com or www.buffalowing.com.

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