Hoots opening Bedford location, as WingStop expands to Manhattan

Hoots Wings courtesy photo

Hoots Wings, a fast causal wing restaurant, will open its third Texas location in Bedford on Monday, Dec. 6. Located at 4105 Hwy 121.

The new location is owned by Dallas-based AE Restaurant Group, led by Cary and Jackie Albert, who brings 27 years of experience to the Hoots brand. The Alberts have owned and operated franchises since 1994 and are the first franchisees in Hoots Wings’ history to ink an agreement with a development focus in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Austin areas for 60 franchise locations.

The Alberts have owned and operated franchises since 1994, which started with Schlotzsky’s.

“Our first two Hoots Wings locations have been very successful so far,” said Jackie Albert. “We are grateful to be able to continue to expand in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and bring Hoots to the community of Bedford. We value the continued support from our fans who love our diverse menu of over 10,000 flavor combinations, and are thrilled to play a role in the history of Hoots Wings as their first-ever Texas franchisees.”

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The Alberts have another ten locations in development, eight in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth areas and two in the greater Austin area, all set to open by Q1 2022. The husband-and-wife duo plan to open 10-15 locations each year, on pace to open all 60 locations over the next six years.

Hoots Wings, from HOA Brands, the operators of the Hooter’s franchise, is best known for its wings and the variety of sauces and rubs available. Customers have the choice of five cooking options (breaded, smoked, naked, boneless, or roasted) and fourteen options of sauces and dry rubs. Sauces and dry rubs range in heat from the 3-mile island, spicy garlic, and garlic habanero to the milder lemon pepper, Texas BBQ, and parmesan garlic. Along with its wings, the menu includes shrimp, chicken sandwiches, and sides like waffle fries, tots, mac and cheese and mozzarella sticks. Hoots Wings has a location in north Fort Worth.

If you don’t happen to be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and are craving some wings, Dallas-based Wingstop may have an answer. Wingstop announced plans in July to develop the Manhattan area in a company-owned strategy that includes an asset mix of traditional locations and ghost kitchens, with more than 20 upcoming openings over the course of three years.

“The opening of Manhattan builds upon our strong development pipeline that has delivered record setting development each quarter in 2021,” said Wingstop CEO and chairman Charlie Morrison. “With the combination of ghost kitchens and traditional locations in Manhattan, we’re following a proven playbook similar to our UK market, which now has AUVs at more than two million dollars, surpassing our domestic average.”

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With the launch of Wingstop’s first ghost kitchen in the UK in June 2020, the brand has seen promising results throughout its ghost kitchen portfolio. Ghost kitchens create an opportunity to penetrate areas with high real estate costs or lower inventory of retail space.

The success experienced in the UK serves as fuel as the brand looks to replicate the archetype strategy in markets outside of Manhattan, including San Francisco, where Wingstop has an existing, small high street presence and one ghost kitchen.

Wingstop’s entry into Manhattan follows four record quarters for development –with 49 net new restaurants in Q3 2021 – as well as an all-time high development year in 2020 with 153 net new restaurants and more than 700 restaurants commitments from brand partners.

Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) operates and franchises over 1,500 locations worldwide.