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Wingstop is beating last April's sales explosion

Despite high wing costs, Wingstop said same-store sales are positive for April, jumping 2020's 33% comps boom.


Restaurants find it tough to find chicken

Wingstop and KFC, among other chains, have struggled to source chickens amid intense demand and worker shortages among distributors and processors.

Charlie Morrison, one of Restaurant Business’ Restaurant Leader of the Year nominees, leveraged his background in data and technology to build Wingstop into one of the country’s fastest growing brands.

Charlie Morrison’s $6 million pay package included $2 million in bonuses, thanks to the wing chain’s strong pandemic performance.

Large chains dominated the list of the quickest growing concepts, according to the Technomic Top 500, as the pandemic favored big chains over small chains.

The chain’s same-store sales rose 21% in the first quarter, completing a remarkable year. But its performance was improving long before quarantine, says RB's The Bottom Line.

RB’s The Bottom Line examines which fast-food restaurants won, and which ones lost, during a pandemic-laden year. Pizza chains like Domino's and Papa John's, and chicken wing chains like Wingstop, did best in 2020.

The fast casual is feeling the heat from greater demand for chicken wings. But the chain is putting stock in its belief the uptick is pandemic-fueled and temporary, rather than a long-term concern.

Despite (or because of) the pandemic, the chicken wing brand saw record growth, reporting $2 billion in systemwide sales for the year.

The fast-casual wing brand put the pieces in place for digital transformation just before crisis landed at its doorstep.

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