Wingers Leverages Customer Data with Locate to Better Cater to its Guests and Grow into the Right Locations
“I was extremely impressed by Locate’s technological platform. They built a model for us that really can identify key criteria as we look for new sites and franchisees and continue to grow. This was the perfect real estate program and technological platform, so we could pick the right sites going forward.” — Eric Slaymaker, Founder and CEO of Wingers
Who is Wingers?
Wingers restaurant combines extraordinary handmade food, drink, craft beer, and great service in a fun and energetic atmosphere. Eric Slaymaker, Founder and CEO of Wingers, opened the first Wingers in Bountiful, Utah in 1993. What started as a small 3,000 square foot diner, has now evolved into an alehouse and restaurant that is 50% corporate owned and 50% franchise with 28 locations, located in 5 states. Eric says seeing Wingers franchisees continue to grow and be profitable, despite the pandemic, is exceedingly rewarding for him and the business.
Identifying the Criteria That Makes a Good Site
25 to 35 percent of Wingers sales has always been in takeout and delivery, so going into the pandemic, Wingers was armed with a solid program.
“We have been lucky because we always sold a significant amount of takeout and third party delivery. I think we have the highest percentage of sales from a takeout and delivery perspective for any full service brand.”
As the business continued to grow over the past two years, Eric and his team wanted to ensure they were using the best technology available to expand and identify the best sites.
“The first thing about business is getting the right location. Picking the right site is number one. You don’t want to start with the wrong site. One of the things that I felt like we needed to do better as a company, was really identify the sites and locations that we were going to be growing in.”
Wingers was just starting to look in the Midwest for new locations. In order to identify the best locations, Wingers needed to establish criteria for their core customer base.
“The more any company, like ourselves, knows and understands its customers, the better they’re going to be able to serve them.”
Preparing for Expansion with New Customer Insights
The first step for a Wingers franchisee is working with Locate’s team.
“One of the first things we like to do is lock in our franchisees with Locate’s real estate arm. For us right now, that is Ty Brewster, based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Together, they start working out a definitive plan on new sites.”
Wingers core customer base consists of two groups— families who enjoy traditional dining on one side of the restaurant and friends who like gathering on the bar side. Using mobile data technology, along with demographic and psychographic data, Wingers gained insights into its consumer behavior.
“Locate has helped us really look hard and ask the right questions when it comes to real estate site selection. They have gotten us to look at the demographics of a market area in a whole different way than we used to before using Locate.”
Because customers of any brand aren’t created equal, a top customer base at one location may differ significantly from top customers at another location. Locate’s data-driven site selection process helped Wingers navigate these differences and better understand these customers.
“We’ve even learned more about our core guests for our brand and how to best cater to them. Locate’s data has helped us get insight for other areas of our business, whether that’s in marketing, operations, and sometimes menu development.”
As Wingers expands, they are continuing to leverage mobile data to drive site selection decisions.
“We are learning more and more about our customer base— how to make them happy and keep coming back.”
Locate is a tech-enabled retail brokerage that analyzes over 180 million anonymous mobile devices to help retailers understand their customers and their behavior. To learn more about our data-driven site selection process, get in touch with us here.