Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Cost, Profit & Opportunities

Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Startup Cost, Profit & Opportunities

Buffalo Wild Wings franchise offers all types of dining services. This includes on-premises and carry-out dining services. Menu items include chicken wings, beverages (plus alcoholic), burgers, salads, sandwiches in addition to 14 signature sauces.

Buffalo Wild Wings is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

This sports entertainment-oriented restaurant was founded by two friends James Disbrow and Scott Lowery in 1982.

However, it wasn’t until 9 years later (in 1991) that Buffalo Wild Wings opened its franchising arm. This franchise is seeking global expansion. This it intends to achieve by selling international franchise units in addition to domestic.

Financial Requirement

To own a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, you are expected to meet its minimum financial requirements. These range from the estimated initial investment to the net-worth and liquid cash requirement.

Financing options are also available and cover specific expenses.

  • Estimated Initial Investment

The estimated initial investment required for a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise ranges from $1,931,200 to $3,750,700. This is the total amount needed to open the franchise. It covers several other start-up expenses. A brief breakdown of the estimated initial investment includes the following;

Freestanding building improvements and non-freestanding leasehold improvements (excluding land, site work & demolition ranges from $800,000 to $1,800,00. Fixtures, furniture & equipment costs start at $600,000 to $700,000.

There are also signage and graphics expenses ranging from $45,000 to $100,000.

Additional costings include sports memorabilia at $10,000 to $25,000, Computer POS system plus kitchen display unit at $54,000 to $65,000 and audio visual equipment ranging from $150,000 to $250,000.

Others include an initial franchise fee of $25,000 to $40,000, rent from $7,500 to $30,000 and lease & utility security deposit of $10,000 to $20,000.

Fees related to site approval and construction of the restaurant ranges between $1,200 to $46,200. Architecture fees (based upon utilization of national firm) starts from $60,000 to $150,000. What more? There are initial inventory, insurance and training costs starting at $12,000 to $18,000, $12,000 to $40,000 and $8,000 to $12,000 respectively.

Reimbursement of expenses for opening team ranges from $0 to $15,000, grand opening advertising & marketing starts from $12,500. Office equipment and supplies ranges from $4,000 to $7,000, liquor license at $5,000 to $200,000. Professional fee expenses range from $20,000 to $70,000 while additional funds for a period of 3 months range from $100,000 to $150,000.

  • Net-Worth Requirement

Prospective franchisees are required to have assets valued at $1,500,000. Liabilities are excluded. Assets may include cash, real estate, retirement accounts, or stocks.

  • Liquid Cash Requirement

This is also part of Buffalo Wild Wings Franchises’ requirement. Interested investors must have sufficient liquid cash starting from $750,000.

  • Other Fees

There are other fees such as an advertising fee making 3.15% of gross sales, royalty fee making 5% of gross sales, and an audit fee not exceeding 1.5% of audit cost+interest at the maximum rate allowable by law. A transfer fee of $12,500 fee applies.

There’s also a cooperative accounting fee starting from $1,200 to $6,000 including a renewal fee of $20,000.


The franchisor recognizes the fact that lots of prospective franchisees will require financing to effectively operate.

Thus, it has agreements with third-party sources to cater to the financing needs of its franchisees. Such financing arrangements cover the franchise fee, payroll, accounts receivable, startup costs, equipment, and inventory.


After successfully signing a franchise agreement with the franchisor, training is scheduled without delay. This goes on as your franchise unit is being built. The training period does not exceed 120 days and isn’t less than 60 days.

Franchisees also benefit from refresher training courses. These are designed to update the skills and knowledge required.

So, how’s the training like? It includes in-restaurant training and familiarization. The first 7 weeks of in-restaurant training takes place at designated certified corporate training restaurants. One such training locations are likely to be close to where you live. You and your management team are trained by the franchisor.

Your management team will include the unit general manager, the control person, and at least 2 assistant managers.

Buffalo Wild Wings also sets up an opening team. The franchisee is expected to bear the costs for this. The opening team assists with the opening of your restaurant.

It (opening team) includes the regional training manager, and “heart of house” trainers. Additional members of the opening team include “front of house” trainers.

Franchise Term And Renewal

Franchisees get term limits of 20 years for which to operate their Buffalo Wild Wings franchise. However, the first and second term renewal of 10 and 5 years respectively may apply if the franchisee has performed satisfactorily and met certain terms.

In a situation whereby a franchisee relocates its franchise upon renewal, licenses may be renewed for 20 years.


Support covers a variety of areas. There are two types of support; the ongoing and marketing support.

  • Ongoing Support

Areas covered under Buffalo Wild Wings support include access to its franchisee intranet platform, site selection, field operations, and security & safety procedures.

Others include online support, grand opening, a toll-free line, meetings & conventions as well as newsletter releases.

  • Marketing Support

As a sales strategy to help franchisees reach their target customers, the franchisor offers marketing strategies such as national and regional advertising, cooperative advertising, use of its ad templates, and SEO.

Others include loyalty programs, email marketing, and website development.

Getting Started

To achieve your desire of becoming a Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee, you’ll need to let the franchisor know of your interests. How, by filling and submitting an online form made available for this purpose. The online form has a section where you tick the type (whether within the United States or international) of franchise opportunity you seek.

Other options include an available amount you have to invest. Once submitted, Buffalo Wild Wings responds through its franchise development representative. Further discussions and activities leading to the opening of your franchise are handled from here. The process isn’t complicated and only requires making the first move.

There you have it. We have included brief but sufficient information to enable you to take the first step. This franchisor furnishes all the information you need in its Franchise Disclosure Document. You’ll require legal help for the full interpretation of the FDD.

This is necessary as it enables you to fully understand what you are getting into.