Published on 20 Oct 2023 Time 6 min read Last update by 21 Dec 2023

Wingstop vs Buffalo Wild Wings: Chicken Fight for the Best Wings

Wingstop vs Buffalo Wild Wings

In the realm of finger-licking indulgence, few contenders hold as much sway as Wingstop and Buffalo Wild Wings. These two culinary titans have long battled for the title of wing royalty, each boasting a unique array of flavors and an atmosphere that appeals to wing aficionados far and wide. But which of these establishments truly reigns supreme in the kingdom of wings? In this in-depth comparison, we dissect every facet, from sauce selection to dining experience, to help you make an informed choice on where to get your wing fix. Join us as we embark on a journey through the saucy, crispy world of Wingstop vs Buffalo Wild Wings, leaving no wing unturned in our quest for the ultimate wingdom champion.

Who are the competitors of Buffalo Wild Wings?

Buffalo Wild Wings faces stiff competition from a variety of dining establishments, each offering its own unique culinary experience. Wingstop, known for its succulent wings and array of flavorful sauces, stands as a formidable rival in the realm of wing-centric eateries. 

Hooters, with its iconic orange shorts and signature wings, also contends for the attention of wing enthusiasts. Additionally, Chili’s Grill & Bar offers a diverse menu, including a commendable selection of wings, presenting an alternative for those seeking a broader range of dining options.

For sports enthusiasts, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt provide a similar combination of sports viewing and pub-style food, vying for a share of the sports bar market. In this dynamic landscape, Buffalo Wild Wings continues to navigate a competitive field, striving to uphold its reputation for quality wings and a vibrant sports-bar atmosphere.

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Who is Wingstop's biggest competitor?

Wingstop’s most prominent competitor is Buffalo Wild Wings. These two establishments have long been regarded as titans in the world of wing-centric dining. As mentioned earlier, while Wingstop is renowned for its expertly seasoned and cooked wings, Buffalo Wild Wings offers a wider range of menu options, including a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, and salads. Both chains prioritize a lively sports-bar atmosphere, making them popular destinations for sports enthusiasts. The rivalry between Wingstop and Buffalo Wild Wings has fueled innovation and quality improvements in the wing industry, ultimately benefiting wing lovers across the nation.

Wingstop vs Buffalo Wild Wings: How much does it cost to open a franchise?

When it comes to investing in a wing-centric franchise, the costs vary significantly between Wingstop and Buffalo Wild Wings. According to data from our “Comparison Tool,” the initial investment for a Wingstop franchise falls within the range of $326,000 to $975,000. In contrast, opening a Buffalo Wild Wings establishment requires a substantially higher investment, ranging from $2.48 million to $4.8 million. This stark contrast in investment costs is noteworthy, with the midpoint for Wingstop resting at $650,175, while for Buffalo Wild Wings, it is significantly higher at $3,643,150.

Prospective franchisees considering these popular wing joints must carefully weigh these financial considerations as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey.

Wingstop vs Buffalo Wild Wings: How much does the franchises make?

According to data from our “Comparison Tool,” Wingstop and Buffalo Wild Wings exhibit distinct financial performance metrics. With Wingstop, franchisees can anticipate a relatively swift return on their investment. Based on median sales figures and an average 15% profit margin, it typically takes about 5.5 years to recoup the initial investment.

This compares favorably to other franchise opportunities, with KFC, for instance, requiring a significantly longer 13.5 years to achieve the same milestone. It’s worth noting that variations in profit margin may affect this timeline.

On the other hand, Buffalo Wild Wings demonstrated an impressive Average Unit Volume (AUV) of $3,093,319 in 2021, indicating a strong revenue stream for franchisees. This suggests that Buffalo Wild Wings can offer robust financial returns, albeit in a higher initial investment bracket compared to Wingstop.

How do the initial investment, royalty fees, and other financial aspects compare between the two franchises?

When evaluating the financial aspects of investing in a Wingstop or Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, distinct differences emerge. According to data sourced from our “Comparison Tool,” Wingstop presents a franchise fee of $20,000, with royalty and marketing fees at 6% and 5% respectively. The projected earnings for a Wingstop franchise range between $214,343 and $287,717, showcasing a competitive return potential.

Additionally, the resale value of a Wingstop franchise is estimated at $822,871. On the other hand, Buffalo Wild Wings offers a franchise fee range of $12,500 to $25,000, along with lower royalty and marketing fees at 5% and 3%.

The anticipated earnings for a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise fall between $401,140 and $535,402, indicating a potentially higher revenue stream compared to Wingstop.

Moreover, the resale value for a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise is estimated at $1,467,002, demonstrating a robust market value.

Wingstop vs Buffalo Wild Wings: How many locations do they have?

When it comes to the battle of the wings, both Wingstop and Buffalo Wild Wings have established a strong presence across the United States. However, the numbers reveal an interesting contrast. Wingstop boasts an impressive total of 1,705 locations in the U.S., with a staggering 1,663 of those being franchised units.

This indicates a significant reliance on the franchise model for expansion. In contrast, Buffalo Wild Wings has a slightly lower total of 1,189 locations, but the distribution between franchised and corporate units paints a different picture. 

With 530 franchised units and 659 corporate units, Buffalo Wild Wings maintains a more balanced approach, indicating a greater degree of direct corporate involvement in their operations. This distinction in business models reflects the varied strategies employed by these wing-centric giants as they strive to capture the hearts (and taste buds) of American wing enthusiasts.

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In conclusion, the battle for wing supremacy between Wingstop and Buffalo Wild Wings is a testament to the thriving wing-centric dining industry in the United States. Each establishment offers its own unique culinary experience, from expertly seasoned and cooked wings at Wingstop to a wider range of menu options including appetizers, sandwiches, and salads at Buffalo Wild Wings. The rivalry between these titans has not only fueled innovation but has also led to quality improvements in the wing industry, benefiting wing enthusiasts nationwide.

Whether you’re enticed by the sizzling flavors of Wingstop’s wings or the diverse menu offerings at Buffalo Wild Wings, the “Comparison Tool” provided here offers a comprehensive overview to assist in making an informed decision. So, whether you’re craving a saucy snack or a full-fledged wing feast, rest assured that both of these culinary giants have something special in store for every wing enthusiast.


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