Madison Jobe of Wingstop talks about the brand claiming Global Franchise’s Best Food & Drink Franchise Award 2020
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Wingstop Inc. operates and franchises more than 1,300 locations worldwide. A high-growth franchisor and operator of restaurants that specialize in cooked-to-order, hand-sauced and tossed chicken wings, the brand pioneered the concept of wings as a center-of-the-plate item for all meal occasions.
GF: HOW IS BUSINESS?
MJ: Our vision is to become a top 10 global restaurant brand and we believe that our financial results demonstrate that we’re on that path. In 2019, our systems-wide sales increased 20.1 per cent year-over-year to $1.5bn, marking the 16th consecutive year of same-store sales growth and we achieved over 400 per cent shareholder return since our 2015 initial public offering. The Wingstop system is comprised primarily of independent franchisees and they account for 98 per cent of our total restaurant count of 1,385, as of December 28, 2019.
GF: WHAT DOES WINNING THIS AWARD MEAN TO YOU?
MJ: Winning a Global Franchise Award means we’re on the right track to accomplishing our vision of becoming a top 10 global restaurant brand. To be recognized as a winner of this award shows the dedication and commitment this brand and its employees have to our mission and that our efforts are being noticed in the industry. We’re humbled to receive this award and look forward to continuing our success in years to come.
“Our vision is to become a top 10 global restaurant brand”
GF: HOW INTERNATIONAL IS WINGSTOP CURRENTLY?
MJ: We currently operate 154 international restaurants in nine different countries. Our international footprint started 10 years ago with our franchise in Mexico, which now has more than 88 restaurants open and operating and recently expanded its total development commitment to 200 by 2028. We’re entering our eighth year of international same-store sales growth. In addition to Mexico, we currently have restaurants operating in Colombia, Panama, the U.K., France, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Our goal is simple: to bring our 11 unique and highly differentiated flavors with made-to-order premium chicken in markets contiguous to our existing ones as well as countries with a sizeable population density.
GF: WHAT KIND OF INVESTOR ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
MJ: We believe that the comparatively low initial investment to open a Wingstop – which is under $400,000 – along with our simple operation model, which allows for a streamlined labor force, have contributed greatly to both our unit and sales growth. Our domestic average unit volume is more than $1.2m. Additionally, we average 75 per cent carry-out and are nearing completion of a comprehensive third-party delivery program roll-out to 94 per cent of our U.S. system.