With a rapidly growing footprint, Buffalo Wings & Rings developed a company-wide program to give back—in a major way.
Buffalo Wings & Rings is no stranger to philanthropy. But in years past, the 70-unit chain has taken a decentralized approach, with its franchisees developing unique initiatives on the ground level. CEO Nader Masadeh felt like now was a perfect time to bring it all together.
Starting September 26 and running through November 13, Buffalo Wings & Rings is featuring a “Chip In for the Cause” promotion for Breast Cancer Awareness Month across its base, which stretches 13 states and six countries.
“We’ve done it at the unit level for a number of years,” Masadeh says. “And it’s different promotions at different locations. This year, since this is a critical issue for our chain, we decided to do a more global approach with all of the units doing one promotion.”
Masadeh also notes that Buffalo Wings & Rings has matured into a position of real force. The brand has enjoyed nine years of consecutive growth and saw its average unit sales bump 2.9 percent this past quarter alone. Year-to-date, the numbers grew an industry-defying 11.4 percent. What makes this even more impressive is the reality that Buffalo Wings & Rings is still a relative newcomer to this global segment, long shadowed by one of the industry’s largest players, which just so happens to share a similar name. Buffalo Wings & Rings started in 1984, but was purchased by new ownership in 2005. Since then, the company has sprouted 66 new stores, including 50 stateside and 20 overseas.
R&D Chef Elliot Jablonsky says Masadeh promotes a culture that believes in giving back. And now that the corporate tools are in place, it was simply about executing a widespread plan—the first for Buffalo Wings & Rings of this scope.
“Nader is a very charitable guy and he breeds the importance of charity work,” Jablonsky says. “Charity work, charity donation, charity everything. As many layers as we can do for others, Nader is about doing more. He not only encourages and stresses it, but he actually almost requires it.”
Jablonsky credits the marketing team with the details. A manufacturer brought him the pink chips, and the creative wheel began to spin.
For every pink chip appetizer on the brand’s new LTO menu, Buffalo Wings & Rings will donate $1 to Breast Cancer Awareness. Jablonsky developed the Fat Tire Beer Cheese, which also comes with deep-fried pretzel bites.
The Not Your Mama’s Buffalo Chicken Dip mixes smoked Gouda, Boursin, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, and the house’s Blue Cheese dip. Their house signature Hot Buffalo sauce is mixed in for a kick. Also, there’s a Blushing Buffalo drink in the promotion. It’s a chilled mix of Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka with pineapple and cranberry juice, served in a martini glass with a twist of the pink ribbon.