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Why CEO Sam Ballas of East Coast Wings & Grill is always trying new things

The casual-dining restaurant is exploring new menu options, rebranding its fast-casual counterpart and launching new prototypes


The restaurant industry is always evolving, and it’s crucial for operators to stay ahead of the curve.

That’s why Sam Ballas, CEO of North Carolina-based East Coast Wings & Grill, is constantly learning and trying new things at his casual-dining company. Though the chain doesn’t offer any plant-based menu items, Ballas and his team spent half a day at the recent National Restaurant Association Show exploring such possibilities. He’s also managed a rebranding of the company’s smaller MyFrii concept, and the launching of new, smaller East Coast Wings prototypes, all while keeping his franchisees happy.

Ballas joined NRN managing editor Leigh Anne Zinsmeister for this episode of Take-Away to talk about all of these evolutions and more.

In this conversation, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of keeping an open mind
  • The story behind MyFrii’s total rebranding
  • Why operators should always strive to learn new things
  • The importance of focusing on the unit level
  • How to gain the trust of your franchisees

Contact Leigh Anne at [email protected], and Sam Oches at [email protected]

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