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A Family Affair: How Buffalo Wings & Rings Offers Families a Unique Opportunity to Build a Business Together
By making Buffalo Wings & Rings a family business, franchisees have the opportunity to create a lasting legacy that can be passed down from generation to generation.

For Buffalo Wings & Rings, the leading club-level restaurant franchise, 2016 has been a record breaking year. Between selling out target development markets and seeing numerous existing franchisees pursue multi-unit ownership, the brand is positioned to continue its rapid growth in the months and years to come. One of the ways in which the brand plans to make these expansion efforts a reality is by growing with a specific group of franchisees: families.

Many franchisees have capitalized on Buffalo Wings & Rings’ proven concept and made the brand a family affair. The Bartons, for example, turned to the brand when they were looking to diversify their family’s franchise portfolio outside of the Subway system with a leading casual dining restaurant. What started as one family member’s investment has now turned into a business opportunity for three siblings and their father, with the door open for the next generation to potentially take over operations one day.

“It all started with my sister Amy. After she broke into the restaurant franchising industry, we saw what an incredible opportunity it was. So my dad and I decided to get involved too. Since then, we’ve really expanded our reach,” said Michael Barton. “There’s nothing like franchising with your family. Because we all know how everyone works, we’re able to relate to one another on a higher level. And now that we’re opening a second Buffalo Wings & Rings location, we’re bringing another one of our brothers on board. The brand’s model gives us the chance to show him the ropes at our existing location before we take on another unit. That’s definitely going to play a major role in our success as we continue to grow, and in the event that Amy’s kids ever want to get involved with the family business down the road.”

Traditionally, a business’ success and image is solely reliant on the ideas and mind of its founder. But because the brand is a leading franchise, Buffalo Wings & Rings is designed for multiple players to be involved. That means the transition that takes place when a father or mother passes their business down to their daughter or son is seamless. The brand’s success isn’t dependent on one single person.

Take franchisee David Bourlier, who has been with the brand for nearly a decade along with his father. When the Bourliers started franchising with Buffalo Wings & Rings, they were first time franchisees who were simply looking to run their own business and get in on the ground level of an emerging restaurant and sports bar concept. But now, with two successful units under their belt and another one set to open its doors at the beginning of next year, the father-son duo are major players in the Buffalo Wings & Rings franchise system.

“When my dad and I opened up our first restaurant, we had $900 left in our bank account when we opened the doors. So for it to be seven years later and have two full stores open with another one that we’re building from the ground up, after only having $900 when we started, you can see that the Buffalo Wings & Rings brand has done a lot for us,” said Bourlier. “There’s no doubt that the brand’s franchise system has been instrumental in our success. The model makes it easy to pass down work from my dad to me—everything is already in place when we open up another one of our restaurants.”

Buffalo Wings & Rings is growing right alongside franchisees like the Bourliers. Multi-unit operators are continuing to capitalize on new business opportunities with the brand, demonstrating that it’s moving in the right direction. And with 70 units across the globe—and counting—it’s clear that Buffalo Wings & Rings’ concept is a hit among both business owners and consumers.

“Ultimately, our position as a franchisor helps us take businesses from one generation to the next. And when owners have multiple locations, it creates opportunities for kids to learn the system and run their own restaurant while having the support and backing of our entire corporate team,” said Philip Schram, chief development officer for Buffalo Wings & Rings. “Our business model is perfectly positioned for families looking to franchise together. It gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to build a stable business that lasts for generations, ultimately creating a successful family legacy.”

To learn more about franchising with Buffalo Wings & Rings, click here.

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