Entry Submitted By: S. Bell Public Relations
Company Description: Wingstop Restaurants Inc. offers restaurants with a nostalgic, aviation- themed atmosphere where the sole focus is on chicken wings. Introduced in 1989, the company currently has more than 600 restaurants open or under development in 28 states. Wingstop was chosen Wing King at the 2006 National Buffalo Wing Festival and Favorite Restaurant at the 2005 festival.
Nomination Category: Company Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Overall Company
Nomination Title: Wingstop Is The Best Overall Company In America
- Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved since January 1 2007 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
What makes a company great? At Wingstop, we believe it means doing one thing
better than anyone else. Wingstop is an aviation-themed restaurant that
specializes in one entrée – chicken wings. In fact, we were the first to move
the chicken wing from appetizer to center-of-the-plate. In the lifespan of most
restaurant concepts, there is a move to branch out from the original focus in
hopes of attracting a larger audience. Wingstop has never veered from its
mission of doing one thing, chicken wings, better than the rest. Thus, we’ve
become known nationwide as the ‘Wing Experts’ and just last year surpassed the
In an economic environment where companies are announcing disappointing
financials everyday, Wingstop recently announced very impressive 2007 year-end
sales and growth figures. The chicken-wing chain’s comp store sales increased
15.5 percent in 2007, continuing its streak of quarterly comp store increases,
now at 18 consecutive quarters. Wingstop’s system-wide sales increased 34.4
percent from $153.7 million in 2006 to $206.6 million in 2007. The company’s
new store openings grew by 18.5 percent from 281 units that were open by year
end 2006 to 333 units open by year end 2007. The rapidly-growing chain expects
to open an additional 80 stores in 2008.
Have you ever noticed how the trendy bars and restaurants come and go, but the
neighborhood diner or pub stays forever. Wingstop has this homey, non-assuming
persona that makes it a mainstay in the communities it enters. The prices are
low, the food is great, always prepared fresh-to-order and served hot. The
value and casual at-home feeling keeps Wingstop’s loyal patrons coming back.
Additionally, approximately 75 percent of Wingstop’s business is takeout. And,
in a shaky economy, the option to add your own sides or drinks at home and not
have to tip a wait person is appealing.
Since its inception in July of 1994, Wingstop has amassed many, many accolades
and awards for its food, concept and management. In January 2008, Wingstop was
listed 125th on the Entrepreneur Franchise500 list. In 2007, Wingstop received
a Stevie Award for Most Innovative Company. In 2006, Wingstop CEO, James Flynn
received the Ernst & Young’s 2006 Southwest Area Entrepreneur of the Year Award
and we were named Wing King at the National Buffalo Wing Festival and the year
before that came home with ‘Festival Favorite’. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked
Wingstop #1 in the Chicken Wing Category in consecutive years, 2004 and 2005.
And, the company continues to accumulate ‘Best of’ awards in the cities in
which it is located.
Our franchisees will always tell you that the most satisfying part of running
their business is seeing the anticipation in their customers’ eyes as they
order their Wingstop favorites. The chain features nine wing flavors, including
Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian, Garlic
Parmesan, and Hickory Smoked BBQ. The wings are always made-to-order and served
steaming hot. Customers can also choose from homemade side dishes including
fresh-cut seasoned fries, bourbon baked beans, pearl potato salad, creamy cole
slaw, vegetable sticks, rolls and assorted dipping sauces.
What makes a company great enough to win a Stevie Award for Best Overall
Company? We hope it is for being known for being the best in your category
while having the staying power of being financially successful in a good or bad
- List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
- Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:
Jim Flynn –Wingstop CEO
Jim Flynn is a man of high standards and expectations, stemming from a life
built on a solid foundation of ethics, discipline and hard work.
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Harvard Business School, Jim
starts each morning with a workout and then kicks off his work day at 5:30
a.m., alone in Wingstop’s corporate office, hoping to complete the tasks that
he knows would be sidelined during the hustle of a regular work day.
In just over four years at the helm, Jim has raised Wingstop from 90
restaurants to more than 600 that are either open or under development and
system wide sales have jumped from 35 million to 206 million; and the company
has experienced 18 consecutive quarters of comp store sales increases.
Prior to Wingstop, Jim helped large companies such as Poyeyes Famous Fried
Chicken experience tremendous turnarounds. In just 12 months as president, he
took Popeyes from a record loss of $6 million to a record gain of $6 million –
a $12 million turnaround in one year.
In addition, thirteen years of Jim’s career was spent helping multiple early-
stage, start-up retail companies grow and become profitable as their acting
The moral fiber and leadership skills needed to command such results were honed
early for Jim. His time served in the Navy in nuclear-powered Polaris
submarines, where his decisions affected not only his life, but those of
hundreds of shipmates, are evident daily in Jim’s guidance of Wingstop