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- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#10 Ranked #16 last year
- Initial investment
$315K - $948K
- Units as of 2022
1,873 43.7% over 3 years
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Wingstop franchise.
Wingstop is a casual food franchise that specializes in wings and french fries. Starting as a small buffalo wing shop in 1994, Wingstop began franchising in 1998. In 2002, it officially reached one billion wings served. The company has more than 1,200 franchises across the United States to go along with over 100 international locations.
Wingstop’s focus isn't just on wings—it strives to rule the flavor game, too. The brand wants to take wings to the next level, serving the freshest product with the sauciest flavors. And that's just the chicken. Their french fries are hand-cut and should be seasoned to perfection.
Why You May Want to Start a Wingstop Franchise
Wingstop has also been ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 multiple times in the past several decades. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points that consist of areas in costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.
When it comes to Wingstop's culture, it's clear that their franchisees have joined a company that strives to promote business, community, and looks out for its employees.
When you own a franchise, you may become part of a company that has philanthropy in mind. Working to empower youth through education, Wingstop has a passion for helping young people achieve their dreams. They also may have a Team Member Foundation that looks to help team members in times of financial hardship.
What Might Make a Wingstop Franchise a Good Choice?
Wingstop uses technology that may make your restaurant accessible and fun for customers. Its mobile and online Wing Calculator is in place to assess your hunger level and how many people you need wings for. The calculator may then suggest what you should order to satisfy everyone involved. They also have a useful heat scale, so customers don't accidentally order too spicy of a wing. This smart marketing move is geared toward customer conversion.
Wingstop generally evaluates you on very specific grounds, including multi-franchise ownership history and whether or not you're committed to owning and operating multiple franchise locations.
You should make sure you are financially ready to make an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and renewal fees.
How to Start a Wingstop Franchise
If you meet Wingstop's financial requirements, have prior business experience, and might be willing to take on a multi-unit obligation, this might be a good fit for you.
A dedicated Wingstop franchise team usually assists franchisees every step of the way as they open their location. From choosing a location and undergoing construction to operations and marketing, they try to help their franchisees make smart decisions for their business. You also generally receive a multi-week-long intensive training course at company headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
During the process of opening a franchise, a Wingstop franchise development team member usually contacts you, which may be a great time to ask those burning questions. Franchisees typically attend a discovery day where they meet the executive team and sign franchise agreements. From the wings to the sauce, you could be the boss.
- Franchising Since
- 1998 (25 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
- # of Units
- 1,873 (as of 2022)
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
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $315,310 - $948,080
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- $15,000 off first-store franchise fee
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 10 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
- 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-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- # of employees required to run
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Wingstop? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Wingstop landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Wingstop ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Wingstop.
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