Buffalo Wild Wings recently celebrated the opening of its 100th Go location in New York City, marking a milestone in the growth of its quick-service offshoot. The chain, known for its famous chicken wings and sports bar atmosphere, has expanded its offerings to include delivery and takeout options through the Go format. This move is part of Buffalo Wild Wings’ strategy to increase its brand presence and provide customers with added convenience.

Since becoming a part of Inspire Brands in 2018, Buffalo Wild Wings has seen significant growth and evolution. Inspire Brands, backed by Roark Capital, has brought together various chains, including Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, Dunkin’, and Baskin-Robbins, under its umbrella. Plans for Inspire Brands to go public in late 2024 or 2025 with a valuation of $20 billion indicate the company’s ambitious trajectory. Buffalo Wild Wings, as the second-largest casual-dining chain in the bar and grill category, has carved out a notable market share and loyalty among customers.

The Go format offers a more affordable and streamlined approach to delivering Buffalo Wild Wings’ menu offerings. Compared to traditional sports bars, Go locations require less initial investment and occupy smaller real estate footprints. This model not only reduces costs for franchisees but also allows for quicker construction and easier operations. The recognition of Buffalo Wild Wings’ established brand combined with the growth potential of an emerging format makes Go an attractive option for both customers and investors.

The rise of off-premise orders, especially during the pandemic, has influenced Buffalo Wild Wings’ decision to focus on takeout and delivery services. Before the pandemic, off-premise orders accounted for 15% of sales, a number that has now increased to roughly a third. Embracing the changing dining habits of customers, Buffalo Wild Wings has consolidated its off-premise business under the Go name. This strategic move aligns with broader trends in the industry, where off-premise sales have become a significant revenue driver.

By expanding its presence with Go locations, Buffalo Wild Wings aims to compete more effectively with fast-food rivals and capitalize on the growing demand for chicken wings. With the ability to customize menu offerings and cater to the preferences of on-the-go customers, the chain can leverage its brand strength to drive sales and customer loyalty. The success of other chains in the chicken wing category, such as Wingstop, demonstrates the enduring popularity of this food segment and the potential for growth in the market.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, Buffalo Wild Wings plans to maintain its current sports bar footprint while accelerating the growth of Go locations. With nearly 600 franchise commitments for additional Go spots, the chain is poised for expansion and diversification within the Inspire Brands portfolio. By offering unique sauces, menu items, and promotions tailored to Go customers, Buffalo Wild Wings can continue to innovate and stay competitive in the evolving dining landscape. As the chain looks to open 50 more Go locations by the end of the year, its strategic approach to growth positions it well for long-term success.

Buffalo Wild Wings’ focus on expanding with Go locations underscores its commitment to meeting the changing needs and preferences of customers. By embracing off-premise sales, optimizing its menu offerings, and leveraging the strength of its brand, the chain is poised for continued growth and success in the competitive restaurant industry. As Buffalo Wild Wings continues to evolve and innovate, its ability to adapt to consumer trends and drive customer engagement will remain key drivers of its future growth and sustainability.


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