Wingstop debuts in Spain with Madrid ghost-kitchen openings

Wingstop Madrid will be built up over time with a mix of traditional + ghost-kitchen locations,franchise partner

Wingstop will debut in Spain with the upcoming openings of two ghost kitchens in Madrid. Two additional, delivery-only locations of the fast-casual chicken-wings chain in Spain’s capital will follow. Partnering with a logistics-kitchen provider made this market entry possible. It precedes large-scale growth in Spain, which has become a key target growth market for Wingstop.

Madrid will see the first two kitchens open March 31. The third ghost kitchen is slated for April. Meanwhile, the fourth will open this summer according to Wingstop’s announced plans. The four kitchens combined will reach nearly all of Madrid through delivery.

The ghost-kitchen launch will help introduce the brand in Spain and position it well through trial. Afterward, Wingstop expects a franchisee to follow and grow the brand, including with brick-and-mortar locations.

Lisa Paton, vice president of EMEA at Wingstop, commented, “We are excited to bring the flavor of Wingstop to Spain, initially leveraging a delivery-only method. By embracing our entrepreneurial spirit, in just 12 weeks from planning to execution, we’re getting Wingstop in front of consumers in Madrid.”

Wingstop’s global aim is to grow to more than 7,000 restaurants around the world. A total of 3,000 of these units will be located outside the United States. EMEA is a pivotal component of the fast casual’s global growth strategy, with the chain’s focus on the Middle East and Western Europe.

Interestingly, the UK provides a framework for successful expansion in a market. Amid the pandemic, there are now 16 Wingstop restaurants there with AUVs of over USD $2M. With a young, urban and loyal consumer base, the UK has plenty of “runway for growth,” noted an announcement.

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On the eve of Wingstop Madrid openings, Wingstop reported a 12.5% unit growth in 2021, compared to 2020. It also posted 193 net new openings. Moreover, US comparable sales grew 8% as systemwide sales grew 20.2% versus prior year, reaching $2.3B.

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