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2024 Franchise 500 Rank
#14 Ranked #10 last year
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Initial investment
$326K - $975K
Units as of 2023
2,046 Increase 42.5% over 3 years

Wingstop Franchise

Almost everyone loves chicken wings, especially buffalo-style. That’s one reason Wingstop, with its aviation-themed logo, has been such a successful fast-food franchise for decades. 

Even better, you can start a Wingstop franchise and take advantage of this franchise opportunity.

But what else do you need to know about starting a Wingstop franchise? Let us break down the details of Wingstop franchising now.

Why should you start a Wingstop franchise?

Wingstop began in 1994 in Garland, Texas, focusing almost exclusively on delivering delicious, high-quality buffalo-style chicken wings alongside related food products like fresh-cut fries, beer and wine. The business was so successful after the first few years it entered the franchise industry in 1997.

Over 450 Wingstop restaurants are open or under development across 26 states. The company, headquartered in Addison, Texas, currently grows at about 30% annually; this is the first big reason you might want to start a Wingstop franchise as a new franchisee.

However, there are other reasons why you might consider starting a franchise with this business, including:

  • Excellent corporate support both before and while opening your restaurant.
  • Lots of training and education resources, so you’ll be prepared to start your Wingstop franchise successfully.
  • Relatively low cost compared to other franchises. The royalty fee, even better, is also on the lower end of things.
  • Territory protections, as noted below.
  • Staffing requirements. In a nutshell, Wingstop restaurants do a lot of business online, so you don’t need a huge staff.

Furthermore, Wingstop offers two different franchising opportunities you can choose from in the United States.

You can be a single-unit operator. In this case, you must live in the market you want to develop and have a minimum net worth of $250,000 (and $100,000 of liquid capital). 

This is a similar business model and ideal for new entrepreneurs or those who don’t have any business management experience just yet. It’s also more affordable, so it could be a good idea if you want to start a business but don’t know if you’ll stick with Wingstop in the long term.

Or you can be a multiunit developer. You need to have enough liquidity to reach $100,000 per store and have some development and restaurant operations experience. 

This is the best choice if you have experience handling restaurant management. The potential for success is immense but comes with a higher start-up cash requirement.

But as you can see, there’s a Wingstop franchise opportunity for any businessperson or entrepreneur.

Does Wingstop grant franchisees territory exclusivity? 

Fortunately, yes. Wingstop does provide exclusive territory to franchisees. This includes competitive protection in a designated trade area around the restaurant. This franchisor will promise not to open a franchise for another restaurant franchise location within that trade area.

In most cases, your restaurant’s trade area will include an area inside the circle, the center of which is your restaurant’s front door. 

There’s no minimum or maximum radius, either. So, in theory, if you pick the right area and market, you could have a vast exclusive territory.

Related: Wingstop and Hershey are Two Food Stocks Overcoming Inflation

What kind of support resources does Wingstop offer new franchisees? 

Wingstop provides lots of support resources for new franchisees.

These include grand opening support, site selection and lease cost negotiation. In this way, Wingstop will help you find the perfect location for your Wingstop store, then help you open it so it’s immediately successful rather than taking some time to build up steam.

After your store has launched, Wingstop will continue to offer ongoing support in the form of marketing assistance, including:

  • Help marketing to your regional audience so you can announce your arrival and bring them to your store in droves.
  • National media marketing.
  • Social media marketing help, email marketing and SEO assistance.
  • Ad template access so you can quickly make effective advertisements.
  • Access to the store’s loyalty program and mobile app so you can keep people coming back repeatedly.

Furthermore, Wingstop’s support resources include managerial access to meetings and conventions. You can use these to expand your social network and to learn more about what it takes to run a successful franchised restaurant.

Then you’ll also be able to use online support lines, newsletters and security and safety procedures approved by Wingstop corporate. To simplify things, you will use proprietary Wingstop software for your restaurant's POS system and other digital systems.

Bottom line: Wingstop doesn’t make franchisees feel as though they are alone when they start their stores.

Related: How Wingstop Aims to Fly Above the Fast-Casual Competition After its Surging IPO

How much does starting a Wingstop franchise cost? 

It’s important to consider how much it will cost to start a Wingstop franchise before you sign any contracts.

Right off the bat, you’ll need to pay an initial franchise fee of $20,000. You also need a net worth of $1.2 million, $600,000 of which needs to be in cash. Your initial investment will likely be between $315,000 and about $1 million.

Remember, however, that your exact Wingstop franchise cost will depend on whether you are a single-unit operator or a multiunit developer. In the latter case, your investment requirements might be exponentially higher, depending on how many stores you want to open in a wide area. 

On the plus side, royalty fees are relatively manageable. There's a 6% royalty fee and a 6% ad royalty fee — ongoing fees you'll have to pay over your 10-year franchise agreement. These are standard parts of franchise ownership within the restaurant industry.

If everything goes well, you can renew your franchise term with the same specifications and rules. Of course, the specifics will be outlined in the franchise disclosure document (FDD).

If you aren’t sure whether you can afford a Wingstop franchise, consider applying anyway. One of Wingstop’s corporate officers will be to break down your likely costs based on your area and your potential operating windows. 

Once you have that information, you can decide whether to pursue a franchise opportunity or seek out a business elsewhere.

Does Wingstop offer any financial aid? 

Good news for veterans; you can get $15,000 off your first store franchise fee. If it’s your first time starting a Wingstop restaurant, you can potentially only have to pay a $5000 franchise fee.

In addition, Wingstop has various lending and financing relationships with third-party organizations. Wingstop franchise owners can use these relationships to get financing assistance to cover their startup costs, real estate and development fees, accounts receivable, payroll and any other expenses they might encounter as they open up their businesses. 

Given these facts, it’s easy to see how almost anyone can start a Wingstop restaurant if they have enough start-up cash to get the ball rolling.

Related: This Innovative Move Keeps Wingstop Flying High

What kind of training is required to open a new Wingstop franchise? 

Don’t forget training for your Wingstop franchise. Specifically, you must complete approximately 155.5 hours of on-the-job training and 56.75 hours of classroom training.

The training class is about 25 consecutive days at Wingstop’s Restaurant Support Center in Dallas, Texas, with trainees getting one day off each week. 

According to this franchisor, the franchisees, a designated principal or the store’s future general manager must complete the training program. For example, if you run your restaurant personally, you must meet these training requirements.

The remaining training hours are split between classroom and on-the-job training efforts. If your Wingstop location is your first restaurant, you'll be assigned two opening restaurant trainers who will go to your restaurant for up to 14 days to provide grand opening assistance and guidance.

After the fact, you can use supplemental and refresher training — Wingstop may occasionally require you to take some extra training modules during examinations to ensure you still adhere to its regulations. 

These training requirements are understandable and reasonable, and they’ll help ensure that you are ready to hit the ground running when your restaurant opens.

Related: Chicken Craze Continues as Wingstop Plans IPO

Start a Wingstop franchise today

Ultimately, starting a new Wingstop franchise could be the best way to build up a business of your very own. 

Check out Entrepreneur’s other articles for more information about Wingstop and other franchising opportunities.

Find Your Perfect Franchise

Company Overview

About Wingstop

Industry Food
Related Categories Chicken
Founded 1994
Parent Company Wingstop Restaurants Inc.
Leadership Michael Skipworth, President & CEO
Corporate Address 15505 Wright Brothers Dr.
Addison, TX 75001
Social Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1998 (26 years)
# of employees at HQ 263
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchises worldwide.

# of Units 2,046 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Wingstop franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
$20,000
Initial Investment Information Circle
$325,616 - $974,733
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
$1,200,000
Cash Requirement Information Circle
$600,000
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
$15,000 off first-store franchise fee
Royalty Fee Information Circle
6%
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
5%
Term of Agreement Information Circle
10 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing Wingstop has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 155.5 hours
Classroom Training 56.75 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Newsletter
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
SEO
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App

Operations

Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
No
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
No
# of employees required to run 8-10
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
Yes
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Wingstop landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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Disclaimer
The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022