DALLAS, Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Wingstop /zigman2/quotes/206814832/composite WING +1.58% announced plans in July to develop the Manhattan, NY area in a company-owned strategy that includes an asset mix of traditional locations and ghost kitchens, with more than 20 upcoming openings over the course of three years. The brand believes its entrance into Manhattan presents an opportunity to invest capital and deliver great returns for shareholders by participating in Wingstop's best-in-class unit economics.
"The opening of Manhattan builds upon our strong development pipeline that has delivered record setting development each quarter in 2021," said Wingstop CEO and chairman Charlie Morrison. "With the combination of ghost kitchens and traditional locations in Manhattan, we're following a proven playbook similar to our UK market, which now has AUVs at more than two million dollars, surpassing our domestic average."
With the launch of Wingstop's first ghost kitchen in the UK in June 2020, the brand has seen promising results throughout its ghost kitchen portfolio. Ghost kitchens create an opportunity to penetrate areas with high real estate costs or lower inventory of retail space.
The success experienced in the UK serves as fuel as the brand looks to replicate the archetype strategy in markets outside of Manhattan, including San Francisco, where Wingstop has an existing, small high street presence and one ghost kitchen.
Wingstop's entry into Manhattan follows four record quarters for development –with 49 net new restaurants in Q3 2021 – as well as an all-time high development year in 2020 with 153 net new restaurants and more than 700 restaurants commitments from brand partners.
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, TX, Wingstop Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206814832/composite WING +1.58% operates and franchises over 1,500 locations worldwide. The Wing Experts are dedicated to Serving the World Flavor through an unparalleled guest experience and offering of classic wings, boneless wings and tenders, always cooked to order and hand-sauced-and-tossed in fans' choice of 11 bold, distinctive flavors. Wingstop's menu also features signature sides including fresh-cut, seasoned fries and freshly-made ranch and bleu cheese dips.
In fiscal year 2020, Wingstop's system-wide sales increased 28.8% year-over-year to approximately $2.0 billion, marking the 17th consecutive year of same store sales growth, and Wingstop achieved over 700% stockholder return since its 2015 initial public offering. With a vision of becoming a Top 10 Global Restaurant Brand, its system is comprised of independent franchisees, or brand partners, who account for approximately 98% of Wingstop's total restaurant count of 1,673 as of September 25, 2021. During the fiscal quarter ended September 25, 2021, Wingstop opened 49 net new restaurants, an increase of 13.1%, and announced domestic same-store sales increased 3.9%. During the fiscal quarter ended September 25, 2021, Wingstop generated 61.6% of sales via digital channels including Wingstop.com and the Wingstop app.
A key to Wingstop's success is The Wingstop Way, which includes a core value system of being Authentic, Entrepreneurial, Service-minded, and Fun. This value system extends to its environmental, social, governance platform as Wingstop seeks to provide value to all stakeholders.
The Company has been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine's "150 Strongest-Growing Franchises" and "The World's Best Franchises" (2020), Franchise Business Review's "Top Food Franchises" (2020), Nation's Restaurant News' "Top 200 Restaurant Chains" (2020), Fast Casual's "Top 100 Movers & Shakers" (2020), and named to The Stevie Awards for Great Employers (2020).
For more information visit www.wingstop.com or www.wingstop.com/own-a-wingstop and follow @Wingstop on Twitter and Instagram and at Facebook.com/Wingstop. Learn more about Wingstop's involvement in its local communities at www.wingstopcharities.org .
SOURCE Wingstop Restaurants Inc.
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