Chicken Wing Franchise Becomes First in Segment to Convert to Vegetable Oil-Powered Fleet, Turns Drums of Used Fryer Grease into Precious, Energy-Saving Commodity
June 27, 2008 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA, – After seeing a newspaper article about a man arrested for stealing used cooking oil from a restaurant to fuel his diesel truck, the management team at Wing Zone got to thinking. The120-unit chicken wing franchise typically throws away 220,000 gallons of used vegetable oil each year. Why not use it to power their own cars?
Wing Zone, a rapidly growing takeout/delivery restaurant franchise known for its award-winning 25 flavors of Buffalo chicken wings, announced today official plans to turn that wacky, yet innovative idea into a reality. The chain will unveil its first brightly colored, vegetable-oil powered delivery vehicle at a press conference scheduled for June 30, 2008 at Wing Zone's corporate-owned store in Marietta, GA, located at 1275 Powers Ferry Road SE.
Gradually, the franchise plans to convert its entire fleet of vehicles into energy saving diesel engines fueled by recycled vegetable oil sourced from fryers used in its own restaurants, said Matt Friedman, CEO and Co-Founder of Wing Zone.
"Businesses should lead the way in prioritizing energy efficiency and alternative fuel usage," Friedman said. "Our goal is to reduce the company's reliance on finite and costly fuel sources, while allowing us to recycle our waste in a useful, environmentally friendly, and energy-saving way."
Converting the vehicles for the company will result in a reduction of approximately 190,000 gallons of fuel per year. Furthermore, by using the recycled vegetable oil the restaurants utilize to make their famous wings nearly 220,000 gallons of vegetable oil will be recycled each year.
The Atlanta-based company is one of the first to respond to Georgia's Honorable Governor Perdue's "Governor Energy Challenge 2020", signed as an Executive Order on April 24, 2008, to encourage Georgia businesses to reduce their energy usage by 15 percent by 2020.
"This is a win/win situation," Friedman said. "We're saving money by reducing our gasoline costs so that we don't have to pass along increased prices to our customers. We're recycling our waste by using our own vegetable oil to fuel vehicles, and being proactive as a company to face Governor Perdue's Energy Challenge," Friedman said.
He joked about an additional, noticeable effect the move might have in towns that convert to the cooking-oil powered cars. "The exhaust smells like chicken wings cooking, so if you're a fan of that aroma, you're going to smell a lot more of it in the near future."
While earning customer loyalty from consumers nationwide, Wing Zone is also receiving recognition from within the food service and franchise industries. 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.
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.