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Wingstop tests delivery in Las Vegas

Fast-casual brand tries multiple third-party providers

Wingstop Restaurants Inc. has launched a delivery test at nine units in the Las Vegas, Nev., market, the company said Monday.

The Dallas-based fast-casual wing chain said it will be evaluating the test to see how it works and if it can maintain the quality of its food through the delivery process.

Wingstop is using “multiple third-party service providers” in the test, said Charlie Morrison, the company CEO and president, in answer Monday to emailed questions. He said the company was not disclosing which delivery partners it was testing.

Wingstop started the test April 3 and expanded it on Monday.

“We're testing with nine units in the Las Vegas market, five of which are company owned and four which are franchised-owned locations,” Morrison said.

“We chose Las Vegas because of the presence of company stores, the controllable number of restaurants in the market (nine), and this market also allowed us to test media application for potential future rollout,” he added.

The company is supporting the Las Vegas delivery with radio, digital and social-media promotions.

Morrison added that it was too early to assess results. “The early anecdotal feedback has been positive,” he said. “Media launched on Monday, April 17, so we'll really start to see the impact over the next few weeks as guests become more aware of this new offering.”

The company will share early impressions of the test in its first-quarter earnings call, which is scheduled for May 4, he said.

One consideration was making sure the quality of the food was maintained throughout the delivery process, Morrison noted. 

In speaking about delivery during Wingstop’s fourth-quarter earnings call March 2, Morrison had told analysts: “I think the only thing that holds us back at the end of the day has been the idea of product quality.” 

Morrison said Wingstop, for example, hand cuts its potatoes for fries in the stores every day, “so we want to be very diligent about who controls that product and not every delivery company — third-party delivery company — allows for such control.”

Morrison noted that markets in the upper Midwest and the Northeast showed a strong demand for delivery. He also noted that Wingstop guests were “historically very comfortable” picking up their orders. 

Wingstop has more than 1,000 restaurants in the United States as well as Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

TAGS: Operations
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