WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Approaching its 11th consecutive year of positive, same-store sales, East Coast Wings & Grill has proven, once again, that strategic 'smart' growth can lead to unlimited growth potential and maximum profitability at the unit level. The award-winning chicken wing franchise ended the second quarter of 2014 on a very positive note, with same-store sales up 3.23 percent compared to the second quarter of the previous year.
In the first half of 2014, East Coast Wings & Grill signed new development deals totaling seven units, with plans to double that number by the end of quarter four. Moving closer to its goal of tripling its restaurant count by 2018, the company is on track to finish the year with more than 60 locations under development. Leading the buffalo wing segment in operational excellence and franchisee profitability, the 31-unit upscale chicken wing concept currently boasts an average unit-level EBITDA over 17 percent with the average full dining unit volume exceeding $1.5 million net sales.
“East Coast Wings & Grill will continue to experience strong sales because we've created a formula that works,” said Sam Ballas, CEO of East Coast Wings & Grill. “Our guests enjoy freshly prepared food in a family-friendly environment, while our franchisees enjoy category-leading profitability in the industry. To date, every single-unit operator in the franchise system has invested in multiple locations, which shows that our commitment to helping these franchisees succeed will continue to drive unit-level profitability and play a key role in our sustained growth.”
To augment the company’s national footprint, East Coast Wings & Grill recently appointed company veteran Lee Easley to Senior Vice President of Brand Development. In her new role, Easley will be responsible for driving the brand into new territories, managing lead generation and orchestrating the franchise sales process. Since joining the company in 2003, Easley has played an integral role in real estate market analysis, site selection and approval, as well as lease negotiations. In her most recent role as Vice President of Real Estate & Unit Development, she served as a liaison with the sales team, implemented initial store architectural and design strategies, and also supervised unit construction and development.
“Lee’s remarkable track record with East Coast Wings & Grill, along with her strategic, long-term approach to operations and development make her the ideal leader to oversee our continued expansion plans,” added Ballas. “Lee brings with her 11 years of 'ECW' culture and experience, which she will leverage to evoke the kind of strategic growth that will assist us in sustaining our top position of unit-level economics in the casual dining sector. Lee is experienced in all realms and will serve as my conductor to identify the best territories to expand in while ensuring that each franchisee is on the path to success. Having recently contracted new franchise sales personnel, Lee has hit the ground at full speed."
Easley’s appointment comes on the heels of a monumental time for the burgeoning franchise. Steadily increasing revenue and sales each year, East Coast Wings & Grill is set to average more than 23 percent new unit growth in 2014. Continuing to outperform others in the casual dining segment, the prospering restaurant chain has consistently achieved double digit unit growth since 2010 and has chartered a trajectory to sustain this growth in the coming years.
“I am extremely excited to take on this new role and add to an already amazing experience with East Coast Wings & Grill,” said Easley. “I look forward to contributing to the strategic and profitable growth of the brand for many years to come.”
East Coast Wings & Grill serves the expanding $117 billion casual dining market. The company’s success and sustained growth is a result of its strong corporate backing, commitment to operational support and franchisee success, as well as its capability to attract top talent among its franchisees and corporate staff. As a result, East Coast Wings & Grill has received numerous accolades. Most recently, the company was named one of the “50 fastest growing small chains in the U.S.” by Restaurant Business magazine as well as one of the “100 hot franchises to start now” by Small Business Opportunities magazine.
About East Coast Wings & Grill
East Coast Wings & Grill, a fast growing casual dining chicken wing franchise, has 31 locations and has signed agreements to add 80 new restaurants across the country within the next five years. The franchise concept not only caters to the chicken wing lover by offering 75 different flavors of chicken wings in any of nine heat intensities, but also salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more, all using fresh, not frozen ingredients. To learn more about the franchise concept or about exciting franchise opportunities please visit www.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com for more information.