Buffalo Wild Wings will open a new scaled-down to-go format later this week called Buffalo Wild Wings Go.
The 1,800-square-foot prototype, located near the chain’s Atlanta headquarters, will offer wings, tenders, fries, tater tots, fried pickles, onion rings, cheese curds other drinks, largely for delivery and takeout.
The outlet features less than two dozen seats, presumably for customers awaiting their takeout orders.
The unit will offer two-for one boneless wings on Thursdays and a buy one/get one deal for bone-in wings on Tuesday. Both are signature deals featured at traditional Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants chainwide. It is unclear if that deal will be available for on-premise service as well as takeout and delivery.
Beer, a cornerstone of the Buffalo Wild Wing concept, and other alcoholic beverages will not be offered.
The unit is intended to serve as a pickup station for delivery and takeout. Toward that end, the facility will include heated lockers from which customers can retrieve their pickup orders without interacting with an employee, consistent with social-distancing best practices.
The first Go incorporates best practices the chain has gathered while operating its more than 1,250 full-service sports bars as off-premise-only facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the franchisor says.
The venture comes as off-premise wings specialists such as Wingstop post strong sales even as the coronavirus pandemic cuts deeply into the revenues of what are normally full-service concepts. Wingstop, for instance, reported a 33% gain in sales for April, when the crisis was at its height in many areas of the country.
Buffalo Wild Wings opened a scaled-down format with limited service, called B-Dubs Express, before the chain was acquired for $2.9 billion in February 2o18 by Arby’s. The two were then merged into a new company called Inspire Brands, which subsequently acquired Sonic Drive-In and Jimmy John’s.
The B-Dubs is more of a fast-casual restaurant than a true grab-and-go facility like Go, according to pictures of the concepts. For one thing, it sports far more seats. The lone unit, in Minnesota, remains open.
The first Buffalo Wild Wings Go store is scheduled to open Wednesday in Sandy Springs, Ga. The announcement indicates that the chain intends to open additional branches of the format.