Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Cost

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Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck was founded in 1982 by Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery. Lowery’s parents had become Disbrow’s guardians as they were his ice skating coaches. After Disbrow had finished judging an amateur figure skating competition at Kent State University, the pair met up to get some Buffalo-style chicken wings to eat.

Failing to find any restaurant serving them, they decided to open their own restaurant serving wings. For the first location, they selected a location near Ohio State University, Columbus. Weck was an original part of the name, as beyond the wings and its dozen sauces, the restaurant served beef on weck. Eventually they dropped the Weck and began franchising in 1992.

Original Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant location
Original Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck

Today, Buffalo Wild Wings is a large franchise system with over 1,000 units and owned by Inspire Brands, owner of Sonic, Jimmy John’s and Arby’s.

So you love wings and are ready to invest in a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise but wondering what it costs? We reviewed the Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise disclosure document (FDD), and the estimated initial investment cost ranges between $2,636,200 to $3,750,700 new freestanding locations. (not including land, site, work and demolition)

How Much Money Can you Make as a Buffalo Wild Wings Franchisee

So you decided to drop $3,000,000 and invest in a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise? How much money can you expect to make next? Well, the average sales for a Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise are $3,000,000 and the average profits (EBITDA) per location are 13.5% or $400,000 in profits per location.

Is Buffalo Wild Wings a good investment? Well, if you invest $3,000,000 to get $400,000 in profits, that is roughly a 13-14% unlevered return on investment. Is 13% a good return? Well, you likely need to discuss this with a financial adviser and compare to other investment opportunities around.

Love Wings? Check out Wingstop Franchise Cost Here.

Estimated Initial Investment Cost to Build a Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise

The estimated cost ranges from $2,636,200 to $3,750,700 for a new Buffalo Wild Wings franchise. Here is how it breaks down:

  • Free Standing Building Improvements: $1.5M-$1.8M
  • Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment: $600,000-$700,000
  • Signage and Graphics: $45,000-$100,000
  • Sports Memorabilia: $10,000-$25,000
  • Computer POS System / Kitchen Display Unit: $54,000-$65,000
  • Audio Visual Equipment: $150,000 – $250,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000-$40,000
  • Rent: $7,500-$30,000
  • Lease & Utility Security Deposits: $10,000-$20,000
  • Fees related to Site Approval and Construction: $1,200-$46,200
  • Architecture Fees: $60,000-$150,000
  • Initial Inventory: $12,000-$18,000
  • Insurance: $12,000-$40,000
  • Training: $8,000-$12,000
  • Reimbursement of Expenses for Opening Team: $0-$15,000
  • Grand Opening Marketing: $12,500
  • Office Equipment and Supplies: $4,000-$7,000
  • Liquor License: $5,000-$200,000
  • Professional Fees: $20,000-$70,000
  • Additional Funds: $100,000-$150,000
  • Total: $2,636,200-$3,750,700

Buffalo Wild Wings Net Worth Requirement

Maybe you can find the money to build a new Buffalo Wild Wings, but along with that Buffalo Wild Wings is also going to check out your net worth. The current net worth requirement to become a Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee is a liquidity requirement of $750,000 with net worth of $1,500,000.

Royalties, Advertising and Other Ongoing Fees

Like most other franchises, the big ongoing costs are royalties and advertising fees. Here is how they break down for Buffalo Wild Wings:

  • Royalty: 5% of gross sales
  • Advertising: 3.15% of Gross Sales
  • Co-op Accounting Fee: $1,200 – $6,000

Financial Performance and Other Stats

  • AUVs: $3,054,787 (High of $8,492,338, Low of $915,748)
  • Store Count: 1,185 (575 Franchised and 610 Company Owned)
  • Average store size: 6,000 square feet (4,300-7,000)

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