Buffalo Wild Wings has struggled over the past two years with slumping sales and a monthslong battle between executives and an activist investor. On February 5, the parent company of Arby’s, Roark Capital Group, closed a $2.9 billion deal to get Buffalo Wild Wings. Paul Brown will function as the Chief executive officer of the newly formed holding company Inspire Brands, which encompasses Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and R Taco.
The very next day, Brown sat down with Business Insider to talk about Inspire Brands and his awesome plan for Buffalo Wild Wings. “There will probably obviously be some changes to the menu, changes towards the experience, and changes for the marketing,” Brown said. And even though Buffalo Wild Wings isn’t going to transform into Arby’s 2., the sandwich chain’s turnaround over the past five years – which primarily involved shifts in their menu and marketing – has turned into a blueprint for the future of the chicken-wings chain.
Brown says Buffalo Wild Wings’ biggest problem is it lost what set it up apart from the competition. “I believe that in case you look back when Buffalo Wild Wings really was, really, really successful, it had been really the only one available doing what it really was doing,” Brown said. “We experienced a nationalized local sports bar, and then more competition comes in, and I think that a few of that competition has become a bit more innovative.”
Brown continued: “I do believe there’s a chance to determine the 21st-century incarnation of the items caused it to be so successful during particularly the early 2000s.” A “sea of sameness” has emerged being a prevalent problem in the sit-down casual-dining industry recently. Buffalo Wild Wings, which includes sought to promote itself less being a sports bar and much more as being a general casual-dining chain, was distracted by the industry sales slump as increasing numbers of millennial diners ditched the sector.
In May, Buffalo Wild Wings’ CEO at that time, Sally Smith, wrote in a letter to shareholders explaining its slumping sales that “millennial individuals are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants.” Brown plans to emphasize what makes https://allfoodmenuprices.org/bww-buffalo-wild-wings-menu-prices distinctive from other sit-down chains. “In the event it was growing gangbusters, it didn’t position itself against its traditional cast of casual-dining players,” Brown said.
Brown has signaled that Buffalo Wild Wings requires a new menu strategy. Currently, a lot of the chain’s success depends upon chicken prices, which can be extremely volatile. “Ultimately, if you’re within the restaurant business, it comes down to food and innovation,” Brown said. To update Buffalo Wild Wings’ menu, Inspire Brands is embracing Arby’s for inspiration.
When Arby’s spun off from Wendy’s this year, it absolutely was losing huge amounts of money annually. Brown took over as CEO in 2013 and drastically revamped the chain’s menu and marketing strategy. In 2016, Arby’s reached $3.7 billion in sales, making typically $1.1 million in sales per US store, up 20% from the time Brown joined the chain. Arby’s had discovered that it needed to serve menu things that customers couldn’t buy somewhere else, Brown said. And in case the product was sold elsewhere, Arby’s needed to achieve the lowest price.
The chain kept its iconic roast-beef sandwich and Jamocha shake but began rolling out limited-time offerings such as the Meat Mountain, containing every meat on Arby’s menu between two buns. At Buffalo Wild Wings, whose menu continues to be little changed over the years, Brown intends to roll out an identical strategy: looking for stuff that other chains aren’t serving but that Buffalo Wild Wings can provide.
“There’s been a lack of product development at Buffalo Wild Wings over time, partially because casual dining up to now has not done as much of it,” Brown said. Inspire Brands wants to fix by investing in a “systematic approach” that Brown says allowed Arby’s to rapidly churn out creative new menu items.
Arby’s success has also been tied to its creative and often borderline bizarre marketing plan. The chain debuted the bold “We Have the Meats” campaign in 2014. Its social-media manager was given more freedom that year after a tweet comparing Pharrell Williams’ hat in the Grammys to Arby’s logo went viral. Brown described the approach as “make the personality, the company, use earned media and all forms of earned media to create a persona around it along with an awareness around it.”
“If you believe regarding it, the Buffalo Wild Wings brand is designed for that,” he explained. He suggested Buffalo Wild Wings’ “persona” wouldn’t be considered a rip-away from Arby’s but would involve taking similar risks. “If we sit here a year from now avnnkf that Buffalo Wild Wings is sounding similar to Arby’s, then we failed,” Brown said. Brown continued: “I do believe that will function as the key – how we actually consider the learnings and also the capabilities from what we’ve done and leverage those learnings, leverage the infrastructure, and get it done in a way in which the brands look completely different from one another.”
When asked what customers can get to alter at Buffalo Wild Wings, Brown said, “Nothing.” Most of the work to change the chain around will be occurring behind the curtain, at least for the next month or two, he stated. Brown says he’s already met with some Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees. As well as in January, before the deal officially closed, Inspire Brands started consumer research to determine what exactly is going wrong in the chain and discover what Buffalo Wild Wings’ new era need to look like.