Wingstop takes flight in 2009

by Bryan Salvage
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DALLAS — Wingstop announced comparable store sales for 2009 are up 3.8% over the previous year, and have remained positive for the 26th consecutive quarter. The national chicken wing chain also ended the fourth quarter of 2009 at a 3.8% increase in overall growth, and total annual system sales reached $306.7 million, a 20% increase over 2008.

In 2009, the company opened 45 new stores, including the first international restaurant in Mexico City. Wingstop also opened multiple locations in Albuquerque, N.M., its first restaurants in Philadelphia and Madison, Wis., entered the state of Washington and signed its first development agreement for two stores in New York.

The success of the company's franchise network, emphasis on carryout service and aggressive expansion program were credited for the banner year by James A. Flynn, president and chief executive officer.

"Wingstop has been able to maintain a strong foothold in the restaurant industry because we focus on two things, carryout service and serving quality chicken wings the core menu item," Mr. Flynn said. "Despite the down economy, we are continuing to grow and expand into new markets and countries at a steady pace."

At year’s end, there were 435 Wingstop restaurants throughout the country with another 69 stores expected to open in 2010. The company is currently targeting the Northeast and Midwest for expansion and hosting a series of franchise opportunity events beginning in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
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