Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Costs, Fees & Owner Salary (2023)









May 2, 2024


Buffalo Wild Wings

a franchise?

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings, a well-known casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise was established in 1982. The brand began franchising in 1991 and has grown to become a prominent name in the dining industry, known for its Buffalo-style chicken wings and wide variety of sauces. The headquarters of Buffalo Wild Wings is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Buffalo Wild Wings is celebrated for its engaging sports bar theme, offering a vast array of chicken wings, sandwiches, and other menu items, along with a selection of beverages, including alcoholic options. The franchise has a sports entertainment-oriented atmosphere, providing guests with a vibrant place to enjoy sports events, complemented by an extensive menu that caters to diverse tastes.

For those interested in franchising, Buffalo Wild Wings provides comprehensive training for the franchisee's management team, which is essential for maintaining the high quality and service standards the brand is known for. The franchise offers a specific location within a designated area for operation, ensuring franchisees have a defined territory for their Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar.

This model is designed to cater to a trade area with a significant population base, supporting the potential for high customer footfall.

How many

Buffalo Wild Wings


are there?

In 2022, there were
outlets in
the United
States, of which
are franchises, and
are corporate-owned.

What are the

Buffalo Wild Wings



Advertising fee

2% to 4%

Initial Franchise Fee ($40,000)

The initial franchise fee for Buffalo Wild Wings is $40,000. This fee grants the franchisee the right to operate a single Buffalo Wild Wings location and is fully earned upon receipt, being non-refundable.

Royalty Fee (5% of Gross Sales)

Franchisees are required to pay a royalty fee of 5% of Gross Sales for the first half of the Franchise Agreement term. For the second half of the Franchise Agreement term, the Royalty Fee is the greater of 5% of Gross Sales or the Royalty Fee Buffalo Wild Wings is then charging under their form of franchise agreement they are using during that time. However, the Royalty Fee may not increase by more than 0.5% at any time during the Franchise Agreement term.

Advertising Fee (3.25% of Gross Sales)

Franchisees must pay an Advertising Fee equal to 3.25% of Gross Sales. Buffalo Wild Wings reserves the right to increase or decrease this percentage, but any increase is capped at 0.5% per year, and the Advertising Fee will not exceed 4.15% for the initial term of the Franchise Agreement.

Note: The fees presented here can be found in the Item 5 of the Franchise Disclosure Document. For a complete list of all the fees borne by the franchisee, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.

How much does

it cost

to start a

Buffalo Wild Wings


It costs between
to start a
Buffalo Wild Wings

The estimated initial investment varies based on the type of franchise option chosen. The two primary options available are:

  1. New Free-Standing and Non-Traditional Location Sports Bars: The investment for this option ranges from $2,914,000 to $4,804,800.
  2. Non-Free Standing and Conversion of Existing Free-Standing Sports Bars: The investment for this option ranges from $2,481,500 to $4,404,800.

Below are detailed breakdowns of the costs:

Type of Expenditure Amount
Initial franchise fee $25,000
Fees related to site approval $1,200 - $53,800
Training expenses $0 - $80,000
Architecture fees $100,000 - $160,000
Construction and leasehold improvements $1,430,000 - $2,100,000
Furniture, fixtures, equipment and other fixed assets $775,000 - $925,000
Audio/Visual equipment $275,000 - $425,000
Computer POS system/kitchen display unit $66,400 - $75,000
Office equipment and supplies $6,000 - $13,000
Sports memorabilia $12,500 - $26,500
Signage and graphics $43,000 - $100,000
Training expenses $8,000 - $12,000
Initial inventory $15,000 - $19,000
Insurance $14,400 - $48,000
Additional funds – 3 months $100,000 - $150,000
Rent $7,500 - $40,000
Lease and utility security deposits $10,000 - $20,000
Grand opening advertising $12,500
Liquor license $5,000 - $500,000
Professional fees $20,000 - $70,000
Total Estimated Initial Investment $2,914,000 - $4,804,800

Note: The table above provides a snapshot of the main costs associated with starting the most common franchise format (as disclosed in the Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document). For a complete overview of all the expenses involved with the various formats offered by the franchisor, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.


Buffalo Wild Wings



to its


Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings ensures that its franchisees are well-prepared to operate their franchises effectively through a comprehensive training program.

This program is designed to equip the management team, including the Control Person, Unit General Manager, and at least two assistant managers, with the necessary skills and knowledge to run the Sports Bar efficiently. The training program is divided into various segments:

  • HOH (Heart of House) Operations: This segment focuses on the back-of-house operations and includes 10 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of on-the-job training at a National Certified Training Sports Bar (NCTSB).
  • FOH (Front of House) Operations: This segment covers the front-of-house operations, offering 10 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of on-the-job training at an NCTSB.
  • Running a Shift: This training is crucial for ensuring smooth operations during different shifts. It comprises 30 hours of classroom training and 120 hours of on-the-job training at an NCTSB.
  • Role-Specific Training: Tailored to specific roles within the Sports Bar, this segment provides 10 hours of classroom training and 90 hours of on-the-job training at an NCTSB.

While Buffalo Wild Wings does not charge for the initial training program, franchisees are responsible for covering the travel, living expenses, and supply costs for themselves and their employees.


Buffalo Wild Wings




Franchisees receive the right to operate a Buffalo Wild Wings Sports Bar at a specific location that Buffalo Wild Wings accepts. This location is within a "Designated Area" specified by Buffalo Wild Wings in the Franchise Agreement.

The Designated Area is appointed solely for site selection and does not confer any territorial exclusivity or protection to the franchisees.This indicates that while franchisees have a designated area to operate, they don't have a broader exclusive territory.

Can a

Buffalo Wild Wings


be run as

a passive


Franchisees of Buffalo Wild Wings are required to be actively involved in the management and operation of their restaurant. If the franchisee operates as a business entity, they must designate a "Control Person."

This individual is responsible for actively directing the business affairs of the restaurant and ensuring its smooth operation. The Control Person, or another representative of the restaurant approved by the company, must be involved in the direct operation of the Sports Bar and commit their full time and best efforts to manage the Sports Bar effectively.

Moreover, the franchisee's Sports Bar should always have a minimum of two assistant managers. These managers, along with the Control Person, must undergo and successfully complete the company's training program.

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