Wingstop Franchise Cost and How to Get Started

For those who are interested in having their own business, investing in a franchise is a great way to kickstart it.

One of the most popular franchises in the country right now is Wingstop.

With more than 900 locations worldwide, the brand is continuing to expand, and many people want to become part of it.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

The franchise has made a name for itself by offering simple, limited menus focused on high-quality ingredients and preparing everything fresh to order.

This strategy allows franchisees to focus on the customer experience without getting bogged down in complicated recipes or an extensive back-of-house setup.

The Wingstop franchise opportunity is just one of many food franchises available that allow entrepreneurs to tap into the booming fast-casual space.

If you love Wingstop and want to open your own store, you need to understand how much a Wingstop franchise costs.


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Wingstop Franchise Overview

Wingstop is the number one wing chain in America, with a simple menu of chicken wings, tenders, and sides that are cooked to order and delivered piping hot.

Since its humble beginnings in 1994, Wingstop has been serving up wings with a unique twist to customers across the U.S. and around the world.

Wingstop franchisees benefit from a loyal customer base that loves its signature flavor as much as it loves our brand.

With more than 900 locations worldwide and more than 50 million wings sold each week, Wingstop is the destination when you crave fresh never faked wings, hand-cut seasoned fries, and any of our famous sides.

Wingstop offers a complete turnkey package allowing you to focus on operations from day one.

This includes a full set of design and construction documents, interior and exterior signage packages, restaurant equipment, furniture and fixtures, menu boards, POS systems, and all other in-store operating systems and procedures.


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Benefits Of Owning A Wingstop Franchise

What are the benefits of owning a Wingstop franchise?

Wingstop is a rapidly expanding chain of chicken wing restaurants that has experienced nearly 20 consecutive years of positive, double-digit sales increases.

According to Wingstop’s website, the company operates more than 1,200 stores in all 50 states and nine countries.

The company also claims to be the number one wing franchise in the world.

Here are some other benefits to owning a Wingstop franchise:

The low initial cost to get started

Like many businesses, the startup costs for a franchise can be high.

With Wingstop franchises, however, the initial investment is quite low when compared with other opportunities.

The total startup costs for a Wingstop franchise fall somewhere between $347,600 and $759,100.

This compares well with most other franchisees in the quick-service restaurant industry which can cost as much as $2 million to open.

Huge Customer Base

Owning a Wingstop Franchise is the huge customer base that you will have access to.

Whether you are bringing in customers that are looking for lunch or dinner, or just looking for a place to watch their favorite sports team on television, you can be sure that your Wingstop location will be filled with happy customers.

The Brand Is Well Known

Another benefit of owning a Wingstop franchise is the fact that it is already established as one of the top brands in the United States, and has been for several years.

With over nine hundred locations nationwide, Wingstop has grown into one of the most well-known brands in America.

This means that you won’t have to worry about trying to build your own brand from scratch.

Instead, you can focus on providing great food and service to your customers.

Proven Business Model and Marketing Strategy

For over 22 years, Wingstop has been serving up some of the best chicken wings around.

Its business model has been refined over two decades, so you can rest assured that you’re getting a system that works.

It’s worked for over 900 franchisees worldwide – why not you?

Wingstop understands that marketing is key to success in any business.

With its global brand awareness program, it is able to offer some of the lowest marketing fees in the industry, while still providing its franchisees with the marketing strategies they need to succeed.

Corporate Buying Power

The power of the Wingstop brand extends to its commercial buying power, too.

By combining the purchasing power of all its franchises, Wingstop can negotiate much better prices for equipment and supplies than a single restaurant owner would be able to get on his or her own.

This lower cost will help you save a lot of money over time.

Comprehensive Support and Training Systems

When you decide to buy into a franchise, you’ll have access to an established brand and name recognition.

You’ll also receive ongoing support from the company to help ensure your success.

Wingstop offers marketing support and training for your employees and managers so that you can maintain high standards of quality across all locations.

There are more than 1,000 locations nationwide, and they’re growing every year.

By opening just one location, you can tap into a rich customer base and enjoy increasing profits over time.

Fewer employees equal lower labor costs

Wingstop restaurants are typically run by 3 people, with occasional help during the evening rush.

This means you’ll have less money going out in payroll each week.

As a result, you’ll be able to use your profits for other business expenses and put more money in your pocket.

Fewer employees also mean less of a chance for an employee to steal from you. Many fast-food franchises have dozens of employees, so it can be difficult to keep track of who is stealing what.

Since fewer people are working at a Wingstop restaurant every day, there are a lot fewer people who can steal from you at any given time.

With fewer employees, you’ll have more time to focus on running your business and improving your customer service skills.


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How Much Does It Cost To Open A Wingstop Franchise

When it comes to opening a new Wingstop franchise, one of the most important questions is exactly how much things are going to cost.

From ingredients to equipment and staff, there are a lot of moving parts in any restaurant startup.

If you’re thinking about opening your own Wingstop franchise, here are all the expenses you can expect.

Wingstop Restaurant Startup Costs

As with most franchising opportunities, the start-up cost to open a Wingstop is dependent on the individual location and equipment needs.

Various factors include the size of the location, kitchen equipment requirements, decorating needs, and more.

The total investment necessary to begin the operation of a Wingstop restaurant will range from $350,000 to $450,000 for an in-line store and $347,600 to $759,100 for a free-standing building.

This includes a franchise fee of $20,000 (payable on execution of the franchise agreement) which grants you the right to use the Wingstop system and trademarks.

Wingstop franchise One-time costs

  • Franchise fee: $20,000
  • development fee: $10,000
  • Net worth: $1.2 million
  • Cash liquidity: $600,000

Wingstop franchise Ongoing fees

  • Royalty fee: 6% of your monthly gross sales.
  • Marketing fee: 4%.
  • Local advertising and promotional fee: 1% as of 2020.

Wingstop franchise Investment Cost Table

CategoryActual or Estimate LowActual or Estimate High
Initial Fees
Development Fee
Franchise Fee
$10,000
$20,000
$10,000
$20,000
Security Deposits$0$10,000
Architect and Engineering Fees$9,400$24,000
Professional Fees$2,500$7,500
Leasehold Improvements$167,500$391,000
Business Operating Permits$4,500$8,500
Décor Package$2,400$25,200
Furniture, Fixtures, Audio/Visual System, Equipment and Smallwares$69,700$140,000
Point of Sale Register, Hardware and Software$17,000$24,600
Signs$4,600$27,300
Opening Inventory$10,000$16,000
Opening Publicity and Promotions$5,000$15,000
Additional Funds – 3 Months$25,000$40,000
Total
*Total excludes real estate purchase and lease costs.
$347,600$759,100

This table has been taken from Wingstop’s official website

Keep in mind that the company’s standard franchise agreement is for 10 years, with an automatic renewal for another 10 years unless either party gives the other notice of termination six months prior to the expiration date.


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How To Open A Wingstop Franchise

Fill out an application

The first step is simple: fill out an application! This application is the first impression Wingstop gets of you, so make sure it is thorough and impressive.

Complete all sections and answer every question fully.

It will give Wingstop a chance to learn about what makes you unique and what you can bring to their franchise family.

They’re looking for someone passionate and dedicated, so make sure they see that in your answers!

Secure financing

When you are preparing to open a Wingstop franchise, the important thing that you need to do is secure financing.

Although the upfront cost of opening a Wingstop franchise is relatively low in comparison to other franchises, it is still important that you have enough capital to cover all of your start-up costs.

Many potential franchisees opt to use their savings or seek financing from family members or friends.

However, if you do not have those resources available, there are a number of lenders who specialize in financing small business owners.

Finalize the franchise agreement

After you’ve completed the application process for a Wingstop franchise and have been approved, the next step is to finalize the franchise agreement—this is the contract that will dictate your relationship with the company.

It’s a multi-page document that covers everything from the initial fee to advertising requirements to how your restaurant will be evaluated.

You should hire an attorney before signing it, especially if you’re new to franchising; an experienced lawyer can help you understand what parts of the contract are acceptable and which should be renegotiated.

Attend training

As a new franchisee of the Wingstop family, you’ll be expected to attend a training session in Addison, Texas.

This is a good opportunity to meet other franchisees and get a sense of what you’re getting yourself into.

You’ll also receive an operations manual and a host of other materials that will help you set up your restaurant.

There’s no need to fear: Wingstop has been opening franchises for years, and they have all their ducks in a row.

Find a location

Once you have attended the “get to know Wingstop” training program, the next step is to choose a location for your new Wingstop restaurant.

The ideal location will be in a high traffic area with good visibility from the road and sufficient parking for your customers.

You can find available locations on Wingstop’s website.

Apply for permits and licenses

The process for obtaining permits and licenses for your Wingstop franchise is generally no different than the process for obtaining permits and licenses for any other type of business.

The first step is to contact your local government offices to determine exactly what types of permits and licenses you need and how to go about obtaining them.

Once you have a clear idea of the permit and license requirements in your area, you can begin the process of filling out paperwork and submitting it to the appropriate agency.

If you’re applying for a loan, keep in mind that banks will want to see proof that you’ve acquired all necessary permits and licenses before they approve your application.

Organize the store layout

Organizing your store layout is one of the most important steps in setting up a Wingstop franchise.

It will ensure that you have enough space for everything, and also make it easy for your employees to work quickly and efficiently.

A store layout is basically an outline of the physical parts of your restaurant—how much space is available on each side, where the restrooms and kitchen area are, and so on.

Hire and train employees

When you’re ready to open your Wingstop franchise, it’s time to start hiring and training employees.

You need to be able to trust that the people who will be working at your restaurant are on the same page as you and that they understand what good customer service means to you.

As the owner, you’ll have the final say in who gets hired—but it’s a good idea to include your management team in the process.

This helps give your staff a sense of ownership and autonomy and can help them feel invested in the success of your business before you even open your doors.

Plan a grand opening

There’s no better way to get people in the door and make them aware of your new business than a grand opening.

It’s even better when it’s an event everyone will want to attend.

As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Make sure yours is a memorable one, and your grand opening will be the talk of the town for years to come.

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