When you think of wings, what do you think of? Buffalo Wild Wings? How about Wingstop? Wingstop has been around for years, but few people know about its history, let alone who owns Wingstop. So sit down, because it’s time for a history lesson. Instead of collecting popcorn and reading about it, how about wings?
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Wing stop start
A chain of fast food chicken restaurants was founded twenty-eight years ago in Garland, Texas, by one Antonio Swad. In just three years, they had their first franchise store. By 2002, Wingstop claimed to serve up to 2 million wings.
Three more years go by and Wingstop decides they will be open for lunch. Then (apparently, there is a pattern here) another three years fly by, and in 2009 they began to serve their first boneless wings.
Their success was proven, and the following year, 2010, Wingstop opened its first international office in southern Mexico. As of 2022, Wingstop is located in just nine countries. So, to all the wing lovers, if you really crave wings, go to one of these countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
Growth and success
Wingstop proved to be a successful network. They spread their millions of wings every year and all over the world on three continents. Research by restaurant statistics groups such as Nation’s Restaurant News has confirmed Wingstop’s growth and success. In the mid-2010s, Wingstop was the third fastest growing restaurant in the country based on revenue and growth.
Who owns Wingstop?
However, this growth was due to the gratitude of Gemini Investors, who bought the company back in 2003. Seven years later, Gemini Investors sold it to Roark Capital Group. If the name sounds familiar to you, it’s because they have shares in other businesses such as Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic, Jimmy John’s and Dunkin’.
What really took off was that in 2015, Wingstop went public with an IPO (initial public offering) for just $19 a share. Because of this, investors gained over 600% in just 5 years and doubled their profits. They even proved to be more popular than Wall Street preferred stocks like Starbucks and Chipotle.
So who owns Wingstop now? To this day, Wingstop is still owned by Roark Capital Group. As of 2021, Wingstop has a net income of approximately $42 million per year. However, their total assets are about $250 million.
Wingstop continues to be a successful business due to its reliance on digital technology as in the past. In 2019, Wingstop celebrated a quarter of a century by teaming up with food delivery company DoorDash to deliver across the country.
Wingstop is still one of the most popular chicken restaurants in the country. But how do they do it? Their restaurant is not limited to just chicken wings. They also serve chicken sandwiches as well as chicken strips. Of course, they all have different sauces and chicken sauces. The chicken sandwich was only introduced in August 2022. These sandwiches come in the same dozen flavors as wings.
- Garlic Parmesan
- lemon pepper
- Bayou barbecue
- original hot
- Hickory Smoke BBQ
- mango habanero
- Lusiana Rub
Although known for their flavors, Wingstop also offers sauces for a limited time. They even combined the sauces together into a new hybrid. In 2019, the restaurant launched the 25 Days of Taste event and every day it had a new combination. Some of them will return for a limited time in a couple of years.
Wingstop is also a charity providing assistance to young people in areas such as sports and education. They also have an employee funded fund to help workers who need money.
In June 2021, Wingstop opened a subsidiary store called ThighStop. ThighStop is only available online and only offers chicken thighs, not wings. According to business representatives, they wanted to cut costs by opening a restaurant.
Wingstop has been growing for almost 30 years now and there seems to be no end in sight. Entrepreneurs, especially those with an interest in culinary arts, should look to Wingstop’s accomplishments. This type of restaurant is built on passion and drive, which is also returned not only to customers through their donations, but also through their employee fund.
The food industry is as cutthroat as the others, but Wingstop does its job and maintains its value and growth through action. Now that you know who owns Wingstop, it’s no surprise that the original owner, Antonio Swad, has been in the restaurant business since washing dishes as a teenager. This work inspired him not only to create Wingstop, but also Pizza Patronpizzeria in Latin American style.
The next time you have a Wingstop, think about the hard work it took to get there with every tasty bite.