The restaurant industry has always played an important role in Dominic Acolino’s life. He was brought up in the business—his parents owned a handful of mom and pop restaurants while he was growing up in New York City. He’s even worked a variety of jobs within the industry, from dish washer and cook to server and manager. That’s why it’s no surprise that after leaving restaurants behind for 20 years to work in the hospitality industry, Acolino is making his way back to his first passion: food and beverage service.
Acolino and his wife Eva knew right off the bat that they wanted to get involved with a strong franchise system instead of going it alone. Partnering with a franchise provides a heightened level of brand awareness and strength that isn’t otherwise available, ultimately setting local owners up for success. But when the Acolinos came across Buffalo Wings & Rings, the leading club-level sports restaurant franchise, it was the menu—and a taste test—that made it the obvious choice.
“Buffalo Wings & Rings caught my attention from the very beginning because of its unique opportunity within the restaurant industry. Even though wings have been around for a while, they’ve been greatly unappreciated. The door is wide open for the segment to grow, unlike burger or even Tex-Mex chains that are now completely oversaturated in markets across the country,” said Acolino. “But what really makes Buffalo Wings & Rings stand out is its incredibly strong branding. They live up to their promise of delivering a true VIP experience, from the top quality food to a fun and inviting atmosphere that’s available at every restaurant.”
After looking into franchising options with Buffalo Wings & Rings, the Acolinos came across a unique opportunity. The brand’s existing location in Charlotte was up for sale, and in need of new local owners to grow the business. So the couple reached out to the brand to look into becoming franchisees through Buffalo Wings & Rings’ resale process.
“Taking over ownership of an existing location has been an ideal situation for us. Because our restaurant already has an established customer base and strong presence in the local community, the heavy lifting is already done in terms of getting the word out about the Buffalo Wings & Rings brand,” said Acolino. “Now we can focus all of our energy on improving the systems and structures that are already in place. It also gives us a chance to create a strategy to open up more locations down the line.”
Even though the Acolinos aren’t expected to make the resale of their Charlotte restaurant official until the end of the month, they’re already planning to grow with Buffalo Wings & Rings. The brand’s tradition of expanding concentrically from an established base makes it easy for franchisees to experience success as they add more locations to their lineup.
“Taking over an existing location is a great way for new franchisees to ease their way into the Buffalo Wings & Rings system. It gives them the opportunity to learn the ropes at a location that already has a history of bringing in revenue,” said Philip Schram, chief development officer for Buffalo Wings & Rings. “As a corporate team, we make ourselves accessible throughout the entire resale process. Our goal is to give our owners the tools and resources they need to succeed and make their existing restaurants even more profitable than they were before.”