East Coast Wings & Grill: 'Never Be Satisfied'

Company Credo Drives Seven Consecutive Years of Positive Same-Store Sales Increases, Inspires New Prototype and Logo En Route to National Expansion

March 02, 2011 // Franchising.com // Winston-Salem, N.C. – In one of the toughest economic environments in decades, characterized by businesses cutting costs and closing stores, the notion of seven consecutive years of success is merely a pipe dream for struggling companies. For North Carolina-based East Coast Wings & Grill, however, that dream is a prosperous reality.

Since taking over the concept in 2000, East Coast Wings & Grill CEO Sam Ballas is proving his chicken wing concept still has legs. Leading the company to 28 consecutive quarters of positive, double-digit same store sales increases, Ballas has grown the concept from one location to 20 throughout North Carolina. Having finished 2010 with $20 million in system-wide revenue and same store sales increases of nearly 16 percent over the previous year, East Coast Wings & Grill expects to have 30 locations open by the end of 2011. Company plans call for 70-75 additional restaurants across the country within the next five years.

"There is a key underlying factor that drives the success of our business, and it is a collaborative mindset within our organization to never be satisfied," said Ballas. "We look at our business and evaluate how we can build upon our success and reach our big picture goals by continuously evolving our concept in concise, strategic time frames."

And evolve it has.

Although known for its family-oriented, casual dining experience, East Coast Wings & Grill recently launched its first On-the-Go prototype, a quick-service version of its casual dining locations, which features 1,400-1,800 square feet and 35-45 seats, compared with 4,300 square feet and an average of 135 seats in a casual dining location. It also has take-out service and 35 menu items.

According to Ballas, the prototype model has unlimited growth potential and was developed as a supplemental opportunity for existing franchisees, allowing them the opportunity to saturate out any other wing competition in the market while capturing additional revenue sources from increased customer visits.

Additionally, the expanding chicken wing concept is fashioning a new logo. Complete with a refreshed color scheme and iconic slogan inviting customers to "Feel the Flavor, Taste the Heat", East Coast Wings & Grill expects its upscale, sophisticated new look to attract customers searching for the complete dining experience.

"For us, feeling the flavor isn't just about the food, but rather the atmosphere inside our restaurants and the flavorful experience our customers take with after every visit," Ballas added. "Families use dining out as a way to escape the redundancies of everyday life and experience some good old school entertainment. At each and every one of our restaurants, we create the flavor and the entertainment is sure to follow."

Today, East Coast Wings & Grill continues to outperform others in the casual dining segment. Serving 75 flavors and 675 combinations of buffalo style wings to chicken wing lovers at its 20 restaurants throughout North Carolina, the burgeoning brand further differentiates itself from other wing concepts by offering a six-page menu that also includes such casual dining fare as Buffalajita's ® (East Coast Wings & Grill's version of fajitas), burgers, salads and Southwestern-style appetizers.

For more information on East Coast Wings & Grill and to find a restaurant location near you, visit www.eastcoastwings.com.

ABOUT EAST COAST WINGS

East Coast Wings & Grill, a fast growing casual dining chicken wing franchise, has 20 locations in North Carolina and expects to have 30 opened by year end 2011 throughout the country. The franchise concept not only caters to the chicken wing lover, which hit previously unseen levels of popularity in 2009 including the sale of more than 13 billion whole chicken wings, by offering 75 different flavors of chicken wings, but also salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more, all using fresh not frozen ingredients. To learn more about the franchise concept or about exciting franchise opportunities please visit www.eastcoastwings.com for more information.

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