Wing Zone (US) Set to Open a Dozen New International Locations in 2019
18 Feb 2019 - Fast Casual Wing Franchise Continues Global Expansion with Multiple Openings in Panama and the Philippines
Coming off the 25th year since the brand’s founding, Wing Zone continues to find a growing fan base overseas and has plans to open an average of at least one new international location per month in 2019. Heading into the year, the company operates 24 restaurants in 5 countries outside of the United States and has plans to open seven new Wing Zone units in Panama and five additional restaurants in Manila, the capitol of the Philippines, before the end of the year.
“The Wing Zone model and focus on an innovative, flavor-themed menu has resonated strongly in international markets,” said Hair Parra, COO of Wing Zone and head of international development. “Chicken is a huge part of the daily menu internationally and our bold flavors, early entry and established brand recognition overseas and convenient delivery model, all combine to help the Wing Zone brand expand outside of our U.S. roots.”
The expansion in Panama is being led by Diqueos Tagaropulos and in Manila by Johnny Mayani. While many elements of the Wing Zone brand are the same as those in the U.S., the international locations each have some unique qualities tied to the local tastes and culture. For example, Asian-style wings that include the tip will be served in the Manila locations. Local desserts will also be available in both countries and new restaurants will feature tableside service and silverware. As Wing Zone opens new restaurants and continues to enhance existing locations internationally, the company is exploring more local flavors and will also plan to incorporate new options available in the U.S. such as the recently added Zesty Breaded Wings and the “soon to be famous” Chicken Ribs.
“It continues to amaze me how strongly Wing Zone has been embraced in international markets. When we first came up with this idea at our fraternity in college, we never would have thought that wing fans in more than five countries would be enjoying Wing Zone one day,” said Matt Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Wing Zone. “We have built a solid international presence and reputation with dedicated franchisees who share our values and understand the commitment to customer service. As we continue to find those qualified franchisees to help in our growth in the U.S., we will be exploring even more partnerships to bring Wing Zone to more cities and countries internationally as well.”
Today, there are more than 80 Wing Zone locations across the globe and Friedman and the Wing Zone team are focused on menu innovation and introducing Flavorholics to unique new menu items. In 2018, the company expanded the menu to include new lines of vegetarian options including triple grilled cheese, a chipotle black bean burger, grilled wraps and unique desserts as part of a shift to a broader, better menu in line with evolving consumer tastes.
In the U.S., Wing Zone will open eight new domestic locations in 2019 in target markets in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Internationally, Wing Zone is focused on Central America, SE Asia, the Caribbean and Europe for continued global expansion.
About Wing Zone
Wing Zone was founded in 1993 at the University of Florida by Matt Friedman and Adam Scott, who dubbed themselves Flavorholics because of their love of great wings and amazing flavors. The Wing Zone franchise was born in their fraternity house kitchen, and the concept quickly flourished through delivery to their fellow college students. After opening several more Wing Zone locations in college markets across the country, Scott and Friedman began offering franchises in 2000. Wing Zone now has nearly 100 locations open across the U.S. and a strong international presence, including Panama, Guatemala, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines.