Wingstop opens its first restaurant in Canada

The company is opening a location this month in Toronto, one of 100 planned for the country as the chicken wing chain pushes international growth more aggressively.
Wingstop Canada
Photograph: Shutterstock

Wingstop is making a push in Canada.

The Dallas-based chicken wing chain is planning to open its first location in Toronto this month, with a planned grand opening set for June 29 that will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony and beatboxing.

It will be the first of 100 locations planned for the country, making it a key element in Wingstop’s international push. “Our first restaurant opening in Canada is a proof point of Wingstop’s success and portability outside the United States,” Nicolas Boudet, Wingstop’s president of international, said in a statement.

The chicken wing chain has been one of the faster-growing large chains in recent years, with sales growing by an average of 19% over the past five years, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

The vast majority of the brand’s 1,800 locations are in the U.S., but a growing number of them are outside the country. Wingstop finished 2021 with just under 200 locations, up by 160% over the past five years, according to Technomic. The brand has found success in Mexico, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Chicken has proven to be popular in many international markets and wings may find a particular home in many countries, given the existing popularity of the product in many countries as is. The product is also flexible, thanks to the focus on sauces.

In Canada, for instance, Wingstop has created a flavor, Honey Garlic, exclusively for that country.

Wingstop is making a major event out of its first Canadian opening. The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. on June 29, giving the first 100 customers five free wings each week for a year. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be followed by a performance by Scott Jackson, a beatboxer and winner of Canada’s Got Talent.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.


Ignore the Red Lobster problem. Sale-leasebacks are not all that bad

The decade-old sale-leaseback at the seafood chain has raised questions about the practice. But experts say it remains a legitimate financing option for operators when done correctly.


More from our partners