With more than 600 franchise units in the U.S. and 28 international locations, as of 2014, and a menu boasting 10 proprietary flavors for its made-to-order cooked chicken wings, chicken sandwiches and boneless strips, the Wingstop company may appeal to you as a prospective franchise. Billing itself as a family-friendly, take-out oriented business, Wingstop prides itself in offering franchisees lower operational costs than other more resource-intensive food businesses.

Initial Investment Costs and Fees

Wingstop makes it relatively painless to buy a franchise. To own a Wingstop franchise, you must have a minimum net worth of $400,000 per restaurant, as of 2015, half of which must be liquid. Initial fees include a development fee of $10,000 and a franchise fee of $12,500. Other costs vary from franchise to franchise: on the low end, furniture and equipment can be $55,000 and permits might be $1,000. On the high side, those costs may be $123,000 and $3,500 respectively. Opening promotions can also vary widely, from $2,500 to $25,000. Overall, expect to pay between $212,000 and $650,000 in startup costs, not including real estate lease costs.

Wingstop Application

To initiate the franchise process, fill out an online Request for Consideration, providing contact information and preliminary financial information. Specify the cash assets you have available and the locations you are interested in. A Wingstop franchise sales director will follow up with you to discuss the opportunity.

Fill out the Wingstop franchise application, which must include:

  • Work experience
  • Personal income tax returns for the last two years
  • Business profit and loss statements for the last two years
  • Proof of assets 

Franchise Disclosure Document 

Once your franchise application has been approved, you will be issued a Franchise Disclosure Document, outlining your responsibilities as a franchisee. This is a critical document on the road to becoming a Wingstop owner. Review it carefully and consult with a franchise consultant, franchise attorney and your accountant to ensure you understand the key provisions, such as:

  • The franchise fee
  • Royalty fee
  • Marketing requirements 
  • Building and inventory requirements

Discovery Day and Development Agreement 

Meet key personnel at the Wingstop company by visiting its headquarters in Dallas to participate in a Wingstop Discovery Day. Upon signing a development agreement and paying fees, Wingstop's real estate team will help you choose and broker a site for your store. You then sign the franchise agreement, after which Wingstop's construction team will help you locate a general contractor and manage the construction of your store. Upon completion of the site and following a four-week training program for you and your general manager, you can open your new Wingstop unit to the public.