Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BWLD) operates a series of sports bar restaurants across the U.S., but with heavy concentration in Ohio. The company is best known for its chicken wings, which customers can customize with 14 different flavors to choose from. In 2009, the company generated $539 million in revenue and $30.7 million in net income.
Chicken prices are rising because corn, which is a major ingredient in chicken feed, has become more expensive. Buffalo Wild Wings is sensitive to the price of chicken feed - in 2009, the price for chicken wings increased from $1.22 per pound to $1.70 per pound, leading to a 30.4% increase in cost of sales for the year.
Additionally as a sports bar, Buffalo Wild Wing's sales are tied to professional athletics' calendar - the company's earnings have generally been lower during the second quarter, when there are few big sports events.
Buffalo Wild Wings operates 232 company owned restaurants and 420 franchised restaurants in 42 states. The firm's principal business is the casual restaurant business. The bulk of their revenues come from restaurant sales at their company-owned restaurants (91%). Food and nonalcoholic beverages accounted for 76% of restaurant sales, with the remaining 24% coming from alcoholic beverages. The menu item with the highest sales volume is chicken wings at 21% of total restaurant sales. Franchise fees and royalties are 9.3% of revenues.
Since chicken wings are the largest selling item on Buffalo Wild Wing's menu, accounting for 21% of restaurant sales, any changes in chicken wing prices have dramatic implications for the company's cost of goods sold. In 2009, the price of chicken wings increased to $1.70 per pound, up from $1.22 per pound in the previous year. This 48 cent increase multiplied by the hundreds of thousands of pounds of chicken wings the company needs to operates means substantially higher costs and reduced profits. As a result, cost of sales increased 30.4% in 2009.
The company operates 652 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in 42 states, 88 of which are located in Ohio. This leaves the opportunity for nationwide growth. The company hopes to expand its operations to over 1,000 restaurants nationwide. The company also wants to increase the number of company-owned restaurants -- in 2009 just over 30% of the restaurants were company owned. The company opened 36 restaurants in 2009 and plans to open 88 in 2010.
Operating as a sports bar, Buffalo Wild Wings is largely sensitive to seasonal factors, most notably, the number of big sports events. It is for this reason that second quarter sales have generally been lower than other quarters'. In addition, this sensitivity to sports seasons leaves them susceptible to slower business when, for example, the teams in the Super Bowl are of little interest to the customers of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants.
Buffalo Wild Wings competes primarily with local and regional sports bars and casual dining and quick casual establishments, as well as with quick service restaurants such as wing-based take-out concepts. Many of the company's direct and indirect competitors are well-established national, regional or local chains.
Main competitors include: