Wing Stop is testing bone-in chicken thighs amid a price surge on wings.
The Dallas-based fast-food chain rolled out the bone-in thighs two weeks ago as an attempt to use more parts of the chicken to help counter the costs of its coveted wings, the company said during a Q3 earnings call with analysts on Monday.
The chain, known for its fried chicken wings tossed in spicy sauces like lemon pepper, original hot and hickory-smoked barbecue, said it worked out a deal with its largest poultry supplier that “mitigates the impact of continued inflation of bone-in chicken wings over the near term,” Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison told Analysts as reported by Restaurant Business Online.
Despite close to 1,500 dining rooms staying closed during the pandemic, consumers continue to flock to the chicken chain. With stay-at-home orders in place earlier this year and people ordering food for pick-up and delivery, digital sales grew to 47% of the business at the end of the first quarter.
The restaurant estimated 95 net new openings for 2020 in Q1 and netted 43 openings -- the best quarter for unit growth it has seen in four years, perhaps as a result of fast food and carry out skyrocketing during the pandemic.
Wingstop's same-store sales increased 25.4% in Q3 and the chain plans to increase its restaurant opening projections from between 135 to 140 for fiscal 2020.