Wingstop is present in 10 countries; and while some things might vary by location, like concept and menu items, at the end of the day, we’re all serving the world flavor. One of our brand partners, Tom Grogan, owns five Wingstop locations in the United Kingdom and is sharing some advice for entrepreneurs everywhere.
What made you want to become a brand partner?
Initially, believe it or not, it was the lyrics of Rick Ross, which had peaked our interest to look into the brand – I’ve been a fan for years! Having studied the success of Wingstop both historically and most recently under the leadership of Charlie Morrison, we were compelled by the business model and the opportunity to bring it back here to London and the UK.
In the UK, whitespace still remains within the chicken sector, where other segments such as burgers and pizza are now incredibly saturated. Wingstop was a perfect fit.
My business partners and I flew to Dallas in 2017, launched our first restaurant in 2018 and will be close to opening our fifth location this month (May 2020).
The launch of Wingstop has exceeded our expectations. Both our brand and flavors have been received exceptionally well by the UK consumer, and we are looking forward to opening several locations in the coming years.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a brand partner?
Seeing our brand grow! Not only domestically with our own franchise, but across the world. We are proud to be part of such an exciting growth story.
This said, the most rewarding thing is seeing our team members and team develop. We have restaurants now managed by team members who, only 12 months ago, had never worked in a restaurant environment. Helping people develop their skills through a structured framework and being able to offer an opportunity for employment is very rewarding. We currently employ around 175 team members and expect this number to double in the next 12 months.
Do you have any tips for young business owners out there?
Find a mentor. I was fortunate early in my career to work closely alongside a highly successful entrepreneur for many years. Learning from a solid mentor gives you the opportunity to draw on experience straight away – may it be sector specific or general business experience. It’s invaluable. Ten years on we still speak regularly, and their advice today is as valued as it was back then.
Once you are up and running, building your core team is the most important investment you’ll make. Identifying top talent in the market to compliment your skillset and bring synergies to your efforts is exceptionally important for any business, and more so for a startup.
Finally, and no doubt most relevant at present – remain resilient. When things get tough, keeping a strong, positive mindset is an absolute minimum requirement. An entrepreneur will face ups and downs, successes and failures, but taking time to celebrate the milestones along your journey is imperative.
Anything you wish people knew about being a brand partner?
I think it would be valuable for prospective brand partners, especially those on the international side, to understand how accommodating Wingstop has been in embracing entrepreneurial culture. Though we are part of a huge franchise network, the support we’ve received to-date has been service-oriented and personalized for our market.