With wing costs running 11% above prior levels, the quick-service chain is testing what it calls a split menu. Customers in the Las Vegas market now see one price for bone-in wings, the chain’s signature, and a much lower price for boneless wings, which are also less expensive on a wholesale basis. Wingstop hopes to lead patrons to buy more boneless wings and skew the sales mix, which is currently tipped toward the bone-in variety by roughly a 2-1 ratio.
The arrangement should also avert sticker shock if Wingstop raises the price of bone-in wings, said CEO Charlie Morrison. If the new price is off-putting, patrons can shift to the all-meat variety, he suggested.
“As we move across the country we will establish what we think is the appropriate price differentiation between the two products,” he told financial analysts. “But in our initial testing and rollout, we have not seen that it's had an impact negatively on the check.”
Morrison noted that the chain does not foresee any decline in wing prices in the near future.
Las Vegas is also the market where Wingstop is testing delivery.