October 24, 2012 // Franchising.com // WINSTON SALEM, N.C. – East Coast Wings & Grill, a North Carolina-based restaurant concept known for its 75 flavors of award-winning buffalo-style wings, is planning to expand into Lexington with at least four new locations during the next few years.
The company’s plan stems from a franchise development agreement that has already been signed with serial franchisee Jim Cornish to open four stores in Fayette county of Kentucky. The area’s first restaurant is expected to open in Lexington in March 2013.
“Being a smaller brand that is now expanding nationwide, we have been very particular about the franchisees we bring into our system,” said Sam Ballas, CEO of East Coast Wings & Grill. “Our system is an engine; we only add franchisees if it makes strategic sense and we feel they deliver additional horsepower to the engine. Jim Cornish is an exemplary franchisee candidate and we are confident about our latest partnership.”
With 18 franchise locations and two brands under his belt—including Papa John’s—Cornish is no stranger to the restaurant franchising industry. Cornish, a Lexington native, was laid off in 1991 from a computer services company when he turned to franchising. Cornish opened his first Papa John’s location in 1991 and never looked back. He spent more than two years spending the majority of his time away from home to make sure all of his stores in North Carolina were running smoothly. As a serial franchisee, Cornish was very selective when taking on new franchise opportunities. After being a loyal customer of East Coast Wings & Grill for several years, Cornish decided to investigate the concept further and ultimately, decided to add the brand to his portfolio.
“I will only franchise a concept that I consider to be the best in a segment,” Cornish said. “After thoroughly investigating the franchise opportunity with East Coast Wings & Grill, I found that each franchisee I spoke with was genuinely happy with their business—a rarity in the franchise industry. Each franchisee stressed a strong camaraderie throughout the system which highly resonated with me. I’m looking forward to enhancing a franchise network that is poised for aggressive growth, as well as bringing a brand I believe in to my home in Lexington.”
Proving the concept is successful in any economic climate with 35 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases, East Coast Wings & Grill is far different from the norm in the chicken wing segment. With a focus on great-tasting, freshly prepared food for families, rather than alcohol (alcohol sales attribute for less than 11 percent of total sales), the burgeoning brand creates a warm and inviting décor that leaves customers feeling a sense of community. And while its 75 flavors of buffalo style wings, offered in 675 combinations depending on heat intensity, remain a staple of the concept, East Coast Wings & Grill’s six-page menu also includes such casual dining fare as burgers, salads, sandwiches and more.
For more information on East Coast Wings & Grill, visit www.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com.
East Coast Wings & Grill, a fast growing casual dining chicken wing franchise, has 21 locations in North Carolina and has signed agreements to add 70 new restaurants across the country within the next several years. The franchise concept not only caters to the chicken wing lover by offering 75 different flavors of chicken wings in any of nine heat intensities, 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.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com for more information.
Ashley L. Moses
Fishman Public Relations