East Coast Wings + Grill Sustainability Speaks to the Strength of Casual Dining
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East Coast Wings + Grill Sustainability Speaks to the Strength of Casual Dining

Full-Service Restaurant Franchise Sees Big Returns on Brand’s Operational Business Model

February 18, 2021 // Franchising.com // WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - East Coast Wings + Grill (ECW+G) - a full-service, family-dining restaurant franchise - experienced record-breaking growth during the pandemic due to the company’s tactful and proactive COVID-19 contingency plan. In doing so, ECW+G significantly limited the financial impact for the franchisor and its franchisees and rebounded in just two-quarters time.

Predominantly based in the southeast region of the United States, ECW+G has seen a notable uptick in same-stores sales since June - positive momentum that continues to carry the franchise business into February 2021. In fact, 32 percent of the franchise system saw record-breaking months despite capacity limitations.

These promising returns are the result of a strategic on-ramping process, which began in February of last year for ECW+G, to best handle the repercussions of the pandemic.

The leadership team, led by CEO Sam Ballas, devoted a number of resources to maximizing operational efficiency at the unit-level to ensure franchisees remained as profitable as possible - even at 50 percent occupancy. Additionally, the franchise reassessed and optimized its supply chain and remained zoned in on making purposeful adjustments to positively drive unit-level data.

Because of its unique on-ramping efforts and response in 2020, ECW+G is experiencing strong performance:

  • January same-store sales are +13.9% year-over-year
  • 2020 check averages were up 14 percent year-over-year
  • 2020 average unit-level earnings were at 17.36 percent (EBIT)
  • Substantial side door and take out sales at a 94% increase

Altogether, these numbers validate the importance of and relationship ECW+G has with its franchisees.

“As a franchisor, our commitment is to the franchise owners and ensuring they have everything they need to run a profitable business,” said Ballas. “Franchisees trust you with their livelihood, and we understand that better than anyone. We deployed everything we could to help them weather this unprecedented storm - from updating operational processes to being even more visible as a franchisor resource and delivering practical solutions to sustain the positive guest experience we’re known for. We were able to move swiftly because of franchisees trust and they know our data-driven decisions are designed to enhance and guide in boosting potential earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), no matter what they are up against.”

“Our team has developed an ‘off-ramping’ plan months ago and part of this plan is to move back into a scaling mode again. We simply wanted to be prudent, we needed 2020 and a couple of months in 2021 to validate our strategy,” said Ballas.

SOURCE East Coast Wings + Grill



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