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European Market Next Up on the Menu for Wingstop

May 10, 2017
Company Set to Open 100 Restaurants in United Kingdom Over 12 Years

DALLAS, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wingstop Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:WING), the award-winning wing concept with 1,031 locations worldwide, today announced that it is extending its global reach by expanding into the European market. The Company entered into an international agreement with Lemon Pepper Holdings Ltd. (LPH), which is set to open 100 locations in the United Kingdom over the next 12 years with the first restaurant set to open by year’s end.

Rita Sharma OBE, founder and CEO of luxury travel empire Bestattravel.co.uk, will back the newly established LPH. Other partners involved on the board include Saul Lewin and Boris Kofman of V2 Leisure, which was involved in launching Novikov in the United Kingdom in 2011 and brokered many of London’s high profile restaurant openings, including Sumosan Twiga, Park Chinois, and most recently opened MNKY HSE in Mayfair; as well as Tom Grogan, co-founder of Lutti London, a privately owned real estate investment group.

“My family and I are very excited to bring Wingstop to the United Kingdom,” says Sharma. “We have been assessing an investment into the food and beverage sector for some time and believe Wingstop is the right opportunity with the right team involved. Wingstop brings a new and exciting option to an underserved chicken category within the overall U.K. food sector.”

Wingstop will be the first fast casual restaurant for the newly established group; the founders have created a very strong operational team, advisory council and support structure with U.K. experience in brands such as Shake Shack, Five Guys, Pret a Manger, Cote Brasserie and Jamie Oliver’s Italian.

“The European market represents a significant international growth opportunity for Wingstop and a meaningful next step on our path to becoming a top 10 restaurant brand, meeting both franchisee interest and consumer demand,” said Larry Kruguer, President of International at Wingstop. “Lemon Pepper Holdings Ltd. has shown that they are very in tune to the type of brand experience the U.K. consumer is looking for, and we are thrilled to have them join the Wingstop family. Rita Sharma is one of the most respected entrepreneurs in Britain and has built a highly successful company from the ground up. We look forward to working with LPH as we serve Europe – and the world – flavor.”

LPH will focus its efforts on adapting Wingstop to the United Kingdom, paying close attention to customer experience, branding and fit out, including a number of exciting architectural design adaptations that should have positive effects for the rest of Europe.

Wingstop is a U.S. based restaurant brand with a sole focus on freshly prepared, cooked-to-order, hand-sauced and tossed chicken wings and side dishes. The United Kingdom will mark the tenth international market outside of the United States, but the Company’s first foray into Europe. For more information on Wingstop franchising, visit www.wingstop.com/own-a-wingstop/

About Wingstop
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) operates and franchises 1,031 restaurants across the United States, Mexico, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. The Wing Experts’ menu features classic and boneless wings with 11 bold, distinctive flavors including Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian, Garlic Parmesan, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Louisiana Rub, and Mango Habanero. Wingstop’s wings are always cooked to order, hand-sauced and tossed and served with a variety of house-made sides including fresh-cut, seasoned fries. Having grown its domestic same store sales for 13 consecutive years, the Company has been ranked #3 on the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Restaurant Chains” by Nation’s Restaurant News (2016), #7 on the “Top 40 Fast Casual Chains” by Restaurant Business (2016), and was named “Best Franchise Deal in North America” by QSR magazine (2014).  Wingstop was ranked #88 on Fortune’s 100 Best Medium Workplaces list in October 2016. For more information visit www.wingstop.com or www.wingstopfranchise.com.  Follow us on facebook.com/Wingstop and Twitter @Wingstop.

Certain statements contained in this news release, as well as other information provided from time to time by Wingstop Inc. or its employees, may contain forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as “guidance,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “confident,” “may,” “should,” “can have,” “likely,” “future” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events.

Any such forward looking statements are not guarantees of performance or results, and involve risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the Company’s control) and assumptions. Although we believe any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, you should be aware that many factors could affect our actual financial results and cause them to differ materially from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements. Please refer to the risk factors discussed in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, which can be found at the SEC’s website www.sec.gov. The discussion of these risks is specifically incorporated by reference into this news release.

Any forward-looking statement made by Wingstop Inc. in this press release speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

Media Contact
Brian Bell
972-707-3956
bbell@wingstop.com

Investor Contact
Raphael Gross
203-682-8253
raphael.gross@icrinc.com

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Wingstop Restaurants, Inc.
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