Tuesday, May 12, 2020

[Ready, Set...] Buffalo Wild Wings to Debut New "GO" Concept in Atlanta

Buffalo Wild Wings will open its first “GO” concept restaurant on Wednesday in Sandy Springs.  The new restaurant, focusing on takeout and delivery orders, could be the first of many for the chain.  The casual dining restaurant, owned by Sandy Springs-based Inspire Brands, said in a release that the 1,800-square-foot (site plans indicate it's actually only 1,600 square feet) Buffalo Wild Wings GO unit will feature a walk-up counter, digital menu boards, condensed seating and televisions for guests to enjoy while waiting for their orders.  GO, like its parent company, will feature Pepsi products.  
The company made no mention of COVID-19 in its release, and the concept has surely been in the works for months, if not years, but did say that GO customers who order ahead will be able to pick up their meal from heated takeout lockers for a “contactless” experience.  The new Buffalo Wild Wings GO restaurant is located within The Plaza at City Springs at 5840 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  GO's space was originally occupied by Eat Fit Go, a prepared meal chain, but the Sandy Springs location as well as the chain's other outposts in Cumberland and Alpharetta all closed in 2018 after its parent company filed for bankruptcy.    

A source close to the restaurant indicates that the GO concept will open with "social distancing" measures in place, which among other things will mean that only a portion of the chain's 24 inside seats will be available to customers.  

In The Plaza, GO will join other quick-serve restaurants including Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, MOD Pizza, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Zoës Kitchen and Starbucks. 

When you consider that many fans of Buffalo Wild Wings refer to it as "B-Dubs," the well-known nickname almost seems like it should have been the name for the smaller format, given that it's basically shorthand for the full name.  

“We’ve seen the success of this model over the past six weeks, with our takeout and delivery business growing over 140%,” said John Bowie, Buffalo Wild Wings chief operating officer, said in a statement.  

Buffalo Wild Wings joins a growing number of casual-dining brands creating mini off-premise and quick-serve versions of their full-service concepts.    

Atlanta-based Hooters brought its Hoot's Righteous Wings quick-serve concept to metro Atlanta last year.  The concept, first tested in Cicero, a suburb of Chicago, was tweaked and brought to Atlanta first at Madison Yards in Reynoldstown, and more recently to North Decatur Station near Decatur.  A third unit is slated to open in June in Peachtree Corners Town Center in Peachtree Corners.  

It's not just sports-bar concepts that are testing the condensed format.  

Scottsdale, Arizona-based P.F. Chang’s China Bistro in February debuted its first P.F. Chang’s To-Go location in Chicago and plans to expand to other cities.  Tampa, Florida-based Bloomin’ Brands Monday opened its first standalone fast-casual Aussie Grill by Outback in Lutz, Florida.  The concept was first tested in the food court at International Plaza, an upscale mall in Tampa.  The company now operates three Aussie Grill units.  

Buffalo Wild Wings “GO” menu will feature top selling items from the restaurant's full service restaurant such as traditional and boneless wings, tenders, sides and all 23 Buffalo Wild Wings sauces and dry rubs but also will offer select new items as well. The casual-dining units’ buy-one-get-one Traditional Tuesdays and Boneless Thursdays will be offered in the fast-casual restaurant as well.   

In many ways, GO, is reminiscent of Wingstop, a quick-serve wing restaurant that Buffalo Wild Wings' backer, Roark Capital Group, previously owned.  
In addition to the new "GO" concept, Buffalo Wild Wings has at least two new locations in the works in metro Atlanta.  One, on which ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported this November, is a relocation of the chain's existing North Point area restaurant to a new, more visible location that will debut locally the company's latest design concept.  Additionally, another new location is planned for an undeveloped out-parcel of Perimeter Mall near the corner of Hammond Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road.  The North Point location is reportedly on track to open in June, whereas the Perimeter location will likely not open until 2021.  

Buffalo Wild Wings has more than 1,250 locations worldwide.  Inspire Brands, an affiliate of Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group, also owns Arby’s, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco and Sonic Drive-In.

Are you a fan of Buffalo Wild Wings?  Does the idea of "GO" appeal to you?  Where would you like to see "GO" open next?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Cody Cargle said...

Buffalo Wild Wings is so overrated and expensive it tastes good don’t get me wrong, but definitely not worth the money when Chilli’s and Red Robin are a lot cheaper, I can get wings cheaper at Zaxby’s or the grocery store for what they are charging honestly. 😂

Anonymous said...

You don't even live in the area. Stop commenting.

Anonymous said...

Curbed is gone so he has to come here and stir up shit now...

Cody Cargle said...

Anonymous said on May 12, 2020 at 11:42 PM What the fuck does it matter if I no longer live in this area, your not my mother or father you cannot stop me from commenting, I’ll comment anytime I want to, and more importantly why don’t you ignore everything I say. 😂

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