DALLAS, May 25, 2021 — Wingstop (NASDAQ: WING) the award-winning wing concept with more than 1,500 locations worldwide, today announced a minority investment in the UK business, which is operated by its UK franchisee, Lemon Pepper Holdings Ltd. (LPH). This investment follows strong performance in the UK and underscores the brand’s confidence in the market as a key growth lever for global expansion.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Lemon Pepper team as they grow their brand presence in the UK, a market with tremendous long-term potential,” said Wingstop CFO Michael Skipworth. “We believe this strategic use of our capital will strengthen the development pipeline in that market and I am excited to join the Lemon Pepper Holdings Board of Directors and play a role in helping achieve the potential for the Wingstop brand in the UK.”
Wingstop entered into a 100-restaurant agreement with LPH in 2017 as the sole franchisee for the UK market. LPH successfully opened Wingstop’s first restaurant in the heart of central London and its portfolio now has a mix of high street, shopping mall and ghost kitchen locations. LPH was founded by Saul Lewin, Tom Grogan, Herman Sahota and Paddy Bamford.
The UK saw its highest sales growth in 2020 and continued to open seven new locations despite successive national lockdowns. This investment follows the opening of a new Wingstop restaurant in Reading last month – the first outside of London and one of several planned new openings this year, which will include Manchester, Kingston-upon-Thames, Birmingham Bullring and Bristol.
“Since launching in the UK market in 2017, Wingstop has brought its flavoursome chicken wings to thousands of hungry guests across several high-profile locations,” said Grogan, director of LPH. “We’ve been delighted by the overwhelming response from guests and look forward to bringing our brand to more regions of the UK in coming years.”
In pursuit of becoming a Top 10 Global Restaurant Brand, Wingstop continues exploring expansion opportunities in Europe as well as in key markets around the world including China and Canada, where its first restaurant is planned to open by 2022.
Dow Schofield Watts and Baker McKenzie served as advisors to Wingstop for this transaction.
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, TX, Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) operates and franchises over 1,500 locations worldwide. The Wing Experts are dedicated to Serving the World Flavor through an unparalleled guest experience and offering of classic wings, boneless wings and tenders, always cooked to order and hand-sauced-and-tossed in fans’ choice of 11 bold, distinctive flavors. Wingstop’s menu also features signature sides including fresh-cut, seasoned fries and freshly-made ranch and bleu cheese dips.
In fiscal year 2020, Wingstop’s system-wide sales increased 28.8% year-over-year to approximately $2.0 billion, marking the 17th consecutive year of same store sales growth, and Wingstop achieved over 700% stockholder return since its 2015 initial public offering. With a vision of becoming a Top 10 Global Restaurant Brand, its system is comprised of independent franchisees, or brand partners, who account for more than 98% of Wingstop’s total restaurant count of 1,579 as of March 27, 2021. During the fiscal quarter ended March 27, 2021, Wingstop opened 41 net new restaurants, an increase of 11.7%, and announced domestic same-store sales increased 20.7%. Also in the fiscal first quarter, Wingstop generated 63.6% of sales via digital channels including Wingstop.com and the Wingstop app.
A key to Wingstop’s success is The Wingstop Way, which includes a core value system of being Authentic, Entrepreneurial, Service-minded, and Fun. This value system extends to its environmental, social, governance platform as Wingstop seeks to provide value to all stakeholders.
The Company has been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s “150 Strongest-Growing Franchises” and “The World’s Best Franchises” (2020), Franchise Business Review’s “Top Food Franchises” (2020), Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Top 200 Restaurant Chains” (2020), Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers & Shakers” (2020), and named to The Stevie Awards for Great Employers (2020).
For more information visit www.wingstop.com or www.wingstop.com/own-a-wingstop and follow @Wingstop on Twitter and Instagram and at Facebook.com/Wingstop. Learn more about Wingstop’s involvement in its local communities at www.wingstopcharities.org.
Alex Kaleida and Susana Arevalo
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SOURCE Wingstop Restaurants Inc.