The parent company of Arby’s, Roark Capital Group, closed a $2.9 billion deal to acquire Buffalo Wild Wings. Paul Brown will become CEO of the newly formed holding company Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and R Taco. Buffalo Wild Wings has struggled over the past two years with slumping sales and a months-long battle with executives and investors but, Brown plans to incorporate changes to the menu, changes to the experience, and changes to the marketing to revolutionize the future of Buffalo Wild Wings.
Solving Buffalo Wild Wings’ Biggest Problem
Brown says Buffalo Wild Wings’ biggest problem was that it lost its unique qualities that set it apart from its competitors. He stated that “if you look back when Buffalo Wild Wings was really, really, really successful, it was really the only one out there doing what it was doing.” Brown plans to make Buffalo Wild Wings different from other sit-down restaurants.
New and Improved Menu
The menu hasn’t changed much throughout the year and Brown plans to incorporate food items that other chains aren’t serving yet. The new team is turning to Arby’s for inspiration. Brown took over as CEO in 2013 at Arby’s and drastically changed the chain’s menu and marketing strategy. Arby’s reached $3.7 billion in sales, making an average of $1.1 million in sales per US store, up 20% from when Brown joined the chain. Arby’s was losing millions of dollars a year before he joined the company.
Reinventing the Brand
They are going to change the personality and the brand of Buffalo Wild Wings as they did with Arby’s. The Arby’s franchise reached success with its creativity and bizarre marketing strategy when they debuted their “We Have the Meats” campaign in 2014. Arby’s has provided a blueprint for the new changes that will be implemented at Buffalo Wild Wings. Brown has already met with some Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees and has begun consumer research to figure out what is going wrong at the chain and determine what Buffalo Wild Wings’ new era should look like.