American fast-casual Wingstop is bringing its chicken wings to Canada.
Wingstop has struck an agreement with JPK Capital to develop 100 locations across Canada in the next 10 years, with the first set to open in Toronto in 2022, pending any unexpected or additional Canadian border regulations and closures stemming from COVID-19.
Wingstop’s expansion into Canada comes on the heels of an explosive 2020. Despite the onset and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wingstop enjoyed its 17th consecutive year of positive same-store sales growth. It ended the year with 153 net new units, 21.4 per cent domestic same-store sales growth, and total digital sales north of 60 per cent.
“Wingstop in Canada marks another key step toward our stated goal of becoming a Top 10 Global Brand and further validates the portability of our brand on a global level,” adds Nicolas Boudet, president of international at Wingstop.
Boudet added that Wingstop has focused on Canada for expansion because the brand believes “this is a market where we can replicate the success we’ve experienced in the U.S. based on Canadians’ appreciation and craving for bold flavour and high-quality product.” Wingstop also cited Canada’s proximity to the brand’s home market in the U.S. as well as similarities in consumer behaviours regarding digital engagement and off-premise dining.
Billing themselves as “The Wing Experts,” the Wingstop credits its success to “an unparalleled guest experience and offering of classic wings, boneless wings and tenders, always cooked to order and hand-sauced-and-tossed in fans’ choice of 11 bold, distinctive flavours.”
The flavours available in the U.S. include Hawaiian, Garlic Parmesan, Lemon Pepper, Mild, Original Hot, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Atomic, Mango Habanero, Cajun, Louisiana Rub, and Spicy Korean Q. In 2021, Wingstop brought back Hot Lemon, Lemon Garlic, and Bayou BBQ for a limited time.
JPK Capital is a single-family office motivated by sustainable change, technological innovation, and long-term vision which specializes in providing the long-term capital, strategy, and tech expertise consumer businesses need to scale and grow their operations.
“JPK Capital could not be happier to partner with Wingstop and lead the charge in bringing one of the most successful restaurant brands and the best wings in the world to Canada,” says Joe Poulin, founder and CEO of JPK Capital. “As technology entrepreneurs and investors, we have been impressed with Wingstop’s investment in innovation and look forward to capitalizing on its proprietary tech stack to offer a best-in-class digital and in-restaurant experience to Canadians.”