Capriotti’s acquires Wing Zone

The fast-casual sandwich shop plans to use technology to grow business at the wing concept.
Photograph courtesy of Wing Zone

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop has purchased fast casual Wing Zone, the Las Vegas-based chain announced Monday.

Capriotti’s CEO Ashley Morris becomes head of Wing Zone in the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed.

“The acquisition is a natural fit for both brands, as Capriotti’s and Wing Zone share many of the same internal values and organizational goals,” Morris said in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging our expertise in franchising, operational excellence and technology with Wing Zone’s off-premise experience to help both brands continue to grow.”

Wing Zone, which launched in 1993, has 31 locations in North America and 36 international units. The chain, which is geared toward college students, had systemwide U.S. sales of $22.2 million in 2019, down more than 12% from the year before, according to Restaurant Business sister company, Technomic.

Capriotti’s currently has 115 restaurants, with 30 openings planned for 2021. The chain opened its first corporate ghost kitchens last year and introduced the platform for franchisees. It has also added virtual brands serving “reimagined versions” of classic sub sandwiches, according to a statement.

The sandwich chain said it has had double-digit same-store sales growth throughout the year.

“This year has presented a unique set of challenges for restaurants nationwide and Capriotti’s was no exception,” Morris said in a statement. “I am incredibly grateful for the commitment and support of our franchise partners and their teams.”

With the acquisition, the brands plan to leverage technology to boost off-premise business.

Wings have proven to be a surprise hit of the pandemic, with a number of restaurant brands launching virtual wing concepts and chains such as Wingstop reporting massive same-store sales growth.

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