October 11, 2011 // Franchising.com // RICHARDSON, Texas – The lockout may have stalled the NBA season, but things are still heating up for Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden. Gooden has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement with national hot wing chain Wingstop to open four restaurants in Orlando over the next few years.
Gooden and his operating partner, George Taylor III, have formed Zerocon Food Systems, LLC and expect to open their first location in early 2012.
“With the lockout, a lot of us are thinking about our futures and looking for new business and investment opportunities,” said Gooden. “I’ve been a big fan of Wingstop for years, so this is a perfect fit for me.”
Before joining the NBA, Gooden attended the University of Kansas, where the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) named him Player of the Year in 2002. Throughout his almost 10-year NBA career, the power forward/center has played for teams including Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers. He most recently joined the Milwaukee Bucks in 2010.
“Drew Gooden and Wingstop are a winning combination,” said Dave Vernon, vice president of franchise sales for the company. “Drew has shown great enthusiasm for the brand and a strong head for business throughout the franchise process. He also brought on a strong operational partner in George Taylor III, which will help ensure his success in Orlando.”
With a sole focus on cooked-to-order chicken, the Wingstop menu features traditional and boneless wings, strips and the chain’s newest offering – Glider sandwiches – all sauced and tossed in nine original flavors including Lemon Pepper and Garlic Parmesan. Homemade side dishes include fresh-cut fries with proprietary seasoning, Bourbon baked beans and potato salad.
“I fell in love with the people and the city when I played for the Orlando Magic, so I decided to make Orlando home,” added Gooden. “There’s a huge market of wing eaters in Orlando and I just want to provide them with the best product out there, hands down.”
Drew Gooden is the latest of several professional athletes and entertainers that have joined the Wingstop brand. Recording artist Rick Ross opened his first Wingstop in Memphis last week, and company spokesman and Fox Sports analyst Troy Aikman sits on the Wingstop board of directors.
Wingstop of Orlando will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight daily. More information is available at www.wingstop.com.
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Wingstop has more than 485 restaurants open across the United States and Mexico. The Wingstop menu features nine wing flavors including Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian, Garlic Parmesan, and Hickory Smoked BBQ. Wings are made fresh, cooked-to-order and customers can also choose from homemade side dishes including Wingstop’s award winning fresh-cut seasoned fries. Wingstop has experienced eight consecutive years of positive sales increases, was named a Top 10 Best Franchise Deal by QSR magazine, was crowned Wing King at the National Buffalo Wing Festival and has been voted ‘best wings’ in markets across the country. Troy Aikman, three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback, has served as the chain’s national spokesman since 2003 and recently joined the Wingstop Board of Directors. Wingstop was acquired in 2010 by Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in business and consumer service companies with attractive growth prospects and revenues ranging from $20 million to $1.0 billion. For more information visit wingstop.com, wingstopfranchise.com or facebook.com/Wingstop.
Leah Templeton, BizCom Associates PR