Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings is an Inspire Brands-owned casual-dining chain and sports bar franchise specializing in chicken wings, specialized sauces and other sports bar snacks. As of 2020, “B-Dubs” — as it’s affectionately known by fans — is the second-largest casual-dining chain in the country after Applebee’s.
The Minneapolis, Minn.-based restaurant chain was founded in 1982 as Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck (beef on a weck roll is a popular sandwich in Western New York) by Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery. The original restaurant in Columbus, Ohio sold wings as well as beef on weck. The restaurant began franchising in 1992. In 2018, Buffalo Wild Wings was purchased by Arby’s Restaurant Group, which was renamed Inspire Brands.
Following the sale of Buffalo Wild Wings to Inspire Brands, the chain began a menu and image makeover. In 2018, the restaurant got a tech-friendly sports bar design makeover with sports stadium seating and designated places for video game tournaments and big game spectators.
In 2019, Buffalo Wild Wings revamped its menu to add a new and improved burger, chicken tenders, new sandwiches and an improved Buffalo sauce recipe, with the goal of becoming “the great American sports bar.” In 2020, the chain leaned into fast-casual as off-premises sales surged during the pandemic, with the introduction of their new GO format.
Key Data: Buffalo Wild Wings
Headquarters: Atlanta, Ga.
Segment: Casual Dining
Restaurant Segment: FSR Sports Bar
Number of US locations: 1,267
2020 Sales: $4.1 million
Source: Datassential Firefly 500
President: Lyle Tick
Parent Group: Inspire Brands