Analysis on Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.

Buffalo Wild Wings is a chicken wing restaurant that was opened in 1982 by Scott Lowery and Jim Disbrow (Merrill, 2002). Their main target was college students thus most of the restaurant’s chains were located near colleges. With time, growth being one of the goals of the chicken wing firm, they extended their target market to not only college students, but also to the people living in emergent suburban areas. The restaurant’s specialty in chicken wings and a sports bar has made it popular among males aged between 21-34 years. Close to a decade after the first restaurant was up and running, the chicken wing business had grown and could boast of having seven more outlets (Merrill, 2002). However, the financial state of the chains of the restaurant was in jeopardy, which forced Jim Disbrow to employ Sally Smith as the chief financial officer to restore affairs back in order. Within two years, she had managed to correct financial affairs in the chain of restaurants, and by 1996, the firm had added 60 more outlets to its name and was still showing signs of growth. The hundredth restaurant was established in 1999 and was seeking to merge with Frito-Lay to introduce potato chips (Merrill, 2002). This essay will seek to analyze Buffalo Wild Wings and discus ways in which the firm can realize growth.

Alternatives buffalo wild wings must consider to realize growth

Best value discipline, generic strategy, and grand strategy

Buffalo Wild Wings is a dominant market player being ranked as the eighth largest restaurant in the U.S. by Technomic Inc. (Merill, 2002). For the firm to realize growth, it needs to analyze its SWOT analysis and come up with strategies that will seek to minimize its threats, which are mostly external, and work on its weaknesses while taking advantage of its opportunities and maximizing on its strengths. For instance, the firm needs to create an online presence such as creating a website that is consumer friendly and being on the social sites. This will help the firm to get instant feedback from customers and get more customers through referrals from these sites. The firm also needs to come up with a plan that ensures they hire and retain competent and qualified personnel.

Strategies Buffalo Wild Wings should implement

To help the firm tackle the threats effectively, the firm must find appropriate sites in new and existing markets. It must also acquire funds for constructing new restaurants that are conventional. Moreover, the firm needs to negotiate sustainable lease terms. The firm must also drop franchisees that are not bringing in good returns. The firm must also procure and retain the essential local, state and federal legislative agreements and licenses allied to the building of the establishments and the sale of food and alcoholic beverages. Additionally, there is a substantial need to raise awareness of the restaurants in new markets through massive advertisements. This will put the firm at par with the competitors and in turn increase sales and consumer base (Smith, 2003).

Furthermore, the firm needs to recognize adequate number of appropriate new restaurant sites for it to endure the revenue growth rate. It is notable that market acceptance in the new geographic regions may be slow hence interfering with the rate of returns. There is also the threat of new restaurant digging into the sales rate of existing restaurants, thus interfering with the overall income and profitability of the existing restaurants. With this in mind, product diversity is essential. It will create authenticity and originality in the established and new chains hence ensuring that no restaurant affects the other one in a negative way. Lastly, the restaurant chain should choose a way in which the implementation of the expansion strategy is in such a way that it does not strain the company’s resources. This will help the firm to keep up with their competitors and also increase the financial growth.


In conclusion, various factors have brought the firm to the position it is presently enjoying. Rapid growth can be attributed to great financial management and focused growth strategies. Letting go of franchisees that are not profitable, and having the right licenses and following the laid out protocols and procedures, will ensure that the firm enjoys growth both in the short and long run. The firm, focusing to improve on its weaknesses and finding ways to deal with its threats can experience growth and expansion in a great way. The opportunities available and the strengths that the firm has will enable it to reach great financial heights.



Merrill, A. (Feb. 5, 2002).  “Hot Prospects: After a Faltering Start Buffalo Wild Wings is Finding its Stride,” Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Retrieved from

Smith, S., J. (Sept. 11, 2003) Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved on 20th Feb, 2013 from