WOW Café Expanding its “Wings” and Rebranding as American Grill
New Orleans-based Restaurant Chain Updates Brand Look & Moves Beyond Wings to Feature Menu with Healthier Options & Variety
April 23, 2013 // Franchising.com // New Orleans, LA - New Orleans’ favorite wing joint – WOW Café - has gotten a facelift and will roll out a new trade dress among locations across New Orleans and the U.S. The new look is part of a larger rebrand strategy for the 11-year old company, with a major focus on expanding its menu offerings beyond wings and tenders to healthier options and variety appealing to all audiences. The transition from “World of Wings” to WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery has evolved over the last year as the menu has expanded extensively and culminates with the launch of the restaurant’s new look and interiors. The casual grill expects to roll out the new design in 20 restaurants over the next year.
“We want to stress to the communities where we operate that we’re not just wings anymore,” says Paul Ballard, founder of WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery. “A big emphasis of ours is offering All-American fare focusing on healthy dishes made daily with fresh ingredients.”
WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery’s menu boasts an array of healthier options, including seven entrée salads, fresh wraps, grilled options, lettuce wraps, and lighter side items like fresh fruit. Additionally, all chicken is fresh, never frozen made with the highest quality ingredients.
Customers will also notice a distinctive difference when they walk into the New Orleans-inspired restaurant chain that goes beyond the menu. The company is conducting an overhaul of its trade dress. Patrons will see a more sophisticated, cleaner look of the interiors – a direct result of heightening the quality and craftsmanship of the materials used. While the company is steering away from the sports-theme trade dress, locations will still feature TVs strategically placed throughout the restaurant to maximize view ability.
“While we’ll always be a destination for viewing major sporting events, our goal is to be known for quality, flavorful menu options featuring fresh, cooked to order food,” says Ryan Stansbury, WOW’s Franchise Development Director. “We want to appeal to a broad audience from families to college students.” “We believe we will do this with our diverse menu and exciting environment.”
The fast casual grill has not forgotten its origins. All locations will encompass that New Orleans flair through images and accessories, while also incorporating elements of the specific neighborhood in which it operates.
WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery falls under the restaurant portfolio of Ballard Brands, which is co-owned by three brothers Paul, Scott and Steve Ballard.
Over the last year, WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery has seen extensive growth in the non-traditional market, expanding in universities across the country from California to Florida to New Jersey, as well as airports, hotels, malls, hospitals, and most recently, its first military base location at Camp Pendleton in California.
Says Stansbury, “WOW works well for non-traditional locations because our operating model is flexible, adaptable and scalable. We have a great understanding of how non-traditional locations operate most efficiently – the number one challenge in non-traditional locations.”
There are 70 WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery restaurants located nationwide. The company expects to open approximately 20 locations in 2013.
For more information, visit www.wowcafe.com. For franchising information, visit www.wowcafefranchise.com.
About WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery
WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery launched in 2001 by New Orleans native Paul Ballard. Originally WOW Café & Wingery, Paul envisioned offering diners a “World of Wings” with a large selection of fresh chicken wings and sauces featuring flavors from around the world. Today, the fast casual grill is owned and operated by Paul and his two brothers, Steven and Scott and features an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, fresh salads, as well as wings, tenders and 17 signature sauces. WOW strives to create an All-American grill that serves the highest quality food made with the freshest ingredients. WOW can be found coast-to-coast from California to Florida. With our family story deeply embedded in New Orleans culture and heritage, we strive to bring a piece of home into every restaurant.
About Ballard Brands
Ballard Brands formed in December 2012 by brothers Paul, Scott and Steve Ballard. The company’s restaurant portfolio includes retail brands WOW Café: American Grill & Wingery, PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, The Original City Diner, and Boardhouse Serious Sandwiches. These brands collectively total nearly 150 locations in both traditional and non-traditional models and continue to grow. Ballard Brands also operates wholesale brand New Orleans Roast coffee, which is sold in grocery stores and featured in an array of locations, including restaurants, hotels, airports and c-stores. Ballard Brands corporate offices are located in Covington, LA.
SOURCE WOW Cafe
Jennifer Bond | Emily Reimsnyde