The popularity and profitability of chicken wing chain Buffalo Wild Wings is contributing to its growth, as CEO Sally Smith says the company plans to cross the mark of 1,000 restaurants in early 2014. Smith is also looking at growth beyond 2014, citing a goal of having 1,700 restaurants open by 2023.
"We will achieve the exciting milestone of 1,000 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in the first quarter of 2014," Smith said during Buffalo Wild Wings' October 29 conference call, where the financial results of the third quarter were also announced. "For the full year, we plan to open 45 company-owned and 40 franchised locations in the United States and Canada, and we expect our international franchisees to open at least 10 restaurants across the globe."
Buffalo Wild Wings' third quarter of fiscal year 2013, which ended on September 29, showed a 27.9 percent increase in profits, and Smith attributed part of that revenue growth to lower chicken wing prices. With a strong financial picture, Buffalo Wild Wings is continuing its expansion plans.
Before the fourth quarter of 2013 is completed, Buffalo Wild Wings plans to add 22 company-owned and 22 franchised restaurants, including two franchise locations in Mexico. That will bring the store total even closer to the 1,000 goal that is expected to be attained in 2014.
Smith told shareholders the expansion plans in the near future include not only the U.S. and Mexico, but also Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.
"As we look beyond 2014, we will continue to build Buffalo Wild Wings into an even stronger brand," Smith said. "We are committed to opening 1,700 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in the United States and Canada and believe we will achieve this goal within the next 10 years."
Buffalo Wild Wings, which is nearing its 10th year as a publicly-traded company, is based in Minneapolis, Minn.