There are a lot of annual food “holidays” celebrated in July. So far this month, restaurants have tied into national days for french fries, hot dogs, ice cream, blueberry muffins and drive-thrus with special deals and promotions. On Wednesday, it’s the chicken wing’s turn.
National Chicken Wing Day has been on the calendar since the 1970s, when the city of Buffalo N.Y. designated July 29 as the date to celebrate its legendary Buffalo chicken wings. It soon evolved into an annual national holiday and this year, wing chains and other concepts are joining in with targeted marketing campaigns. Take a look at what’s in store for wing fans at these chains.
Buffalo Wings & Rings
On the actual date of National Chicken Wing Day, Buffalo Wings & Rings is offering discounted wings, but the chain isn’t stopping there. “We’ve also declared August National Chicken Wing Month, and are launching a limited-time menu, featuring new wing flavors, beverages and a flight of three sauces,” says CEO Nader Masadeh. The menu is available from Thursday through Aug. 30.
On July 29, 2019, Buffalo Wings & Rings saw a 44% in sales National Chicken Wing Day over the previous four Mondays, says Masadeh, and “it is generally the second-busiest day of the year for us.” He expects this year to look a little different, with more sales coming in through off-premise channels, but the chain is increasing staff to ensure that ordering for pickup and delivery is as efficient and seamless as possible.
Large summer concerts were pretty much cancelled this year, but Wingstop is hosting a music and food experience of its own on Wednesday. Wingstop Wing Day features a 24-hour international DJ festival livestream, curated by DJ Jazzy Jeff. Fans around the world can watch and listen by logging into WingstopWingDay.com, where two-hour sets by different artists begin at 12:01 EDT and continue through the day until midnight.
On the food side, Wingstop is offering five free wings with the purchase of any wing order. Customers must use the code 5FreeWings to redeem the freebie, and $1 from every order will be donated to Wingstop charities.
Wing Zone is extending its promotion over two days, offering 16 wings for $10 on both July 28 and 29. Customers have to order directly from the chain’s website for pickup or delivery, clicking on WZ deals with the code 2182 to get the discounted price.
“We generally tend to see a 40% to 50% bump in sales on National Chicken Wing Day and are expecting a similar increase this year,” says CEO Matt Friedman. “We’re staffing up our stores to ensure that all hands are on deck, and preparation will begin at each store on Sunday and Monday.” Wing Zone plans to stagger pickup times to avoid having too many people waiting outside at once. The chain estimates that it will serve over 500,000 wings those two days, says Friedman.
Casual-dining chain Applebee’s has a BOGO deal going on Wednesday for takeout and delivery orders. Customers make their purchase online using the coupon code WINGDAY at checkout and can get two orders of chicken wings—boneless, bone-in or one of each—for the price of one. All wings are tossed in a choice of sauces, including classic hot Buffalo, sweet Asian chili and honey BBQ , and come with a side of celery sticks and ranch dressing.
“We know that for real wing fans, every day is chicken wing day, but we are excited to give our guests an excuse to celebrate our most popular menu item,” Joel Yashinsky, Applebees’ CMO, said in a statement.
Fast-casual chicken concept Starbird launched boneless wings on Monday, just in time for National Chicken Wing Day. The new item is available through Starbird Wings, the restaurant’s virtual wing brand. The new wings are double-fried and flavored with a variety of house-made seasonings and sauces, including honey chipotle BBQ, lemon pepper, classic Buffalo, sweet Thai chili, garlic parmesan, Nashville hot and Korean glazed.
“Right now, the trend in chicken is moving away from bone-in,” says Aaron Noveshen, CEO and founder of Starbird. “Our boneless wings offer consumers who love boneless chicken a great wing experience where the chicken is tossed in one sauce or dry topical seasoning and then can be dipped in a second complimentary sauce.”
Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon is introducing a limited-edition dipping sauce on Wednesday to go with its chicken wings. Available for one day only, the Cucumber Wasabi Ranch Dipping Sauce is the first dipping sauce offered by the chain in its 20-year history.
“We created this delicious, new sauce as a special offering for our loyal fans and customers—and the perfect day to feature it is obviously National Chicken Wing Day,” Flynn Dekker, CEO of Bonchon, said in a statement. During the pandemic, Bonchon changed its business model from casual dining to fast casual with a focus on takeout and delivery.
Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings
Guests of Pasqually’s can get a free order of wings with any purchase of $15 or more. Both traditional and boneless wings are available with the deal, flavored with a choice of sauce or rub. The assortment Includes Louisiana honey hot sauce, spicy Korean BBQ, chili lime and spicy Buffalo. The offer is valid only on National Chicken Wing Day with delivery orders placed with GrubHub, DoorDash or UberEATS.