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Wild Results: Buffalo Wild Wings Promotion Pays Huge Dividends

Buffalo Wild Wings’ weekday foot traffic has soared to new heights thanks to a deal that was welcomed by inflation-weary customers. The chain’s $19.99 all-you-can-eat boneless wings and fries deal has been one of the most effective promotions ever observed by location analytics firm Placer.ai.

“After struggling with food and other inflation pressures the past two years, consumers are clearly in a deal-driven mindset,” said R.J. Hottovy, Placer.ai’s head of analytical research. “Buffalo Wild Wings’ all-you-can eat promotion on Mondays and Wednesdays in May was one of the most successful promotions in terms of driving increased visitations that we’ve seen in the casual-dining category in some time.”

The promotion, which started in mid-May, saw visits on Monday, May 27 increase nearly 56% compared to the average number of Monday visitors from the four months prior. Similarly, on Wednesday, May 29, visits were up almost 37% compared to the average Wednesday crowd.

“Lots of (restaurant) concepts offer deals that people don’t respond to because they don’t like the concept,” noted Dan Rowe, the CEO of Fransmart. “People like Buffalo Wild Wings’ chicken wings and fries anyway, so when you throw in a really good deal, people respond.”

Have they ever.

Consider: On Monday, April 22 – before the all-you-can-eat deal began – customer visits to Buffalo Wild Wings were down 13.9% compared to the average foot traffic from the first few months of this year. On Monday, May 20, visits to the restaurant chain were up 43.9% compared to the same time frame.

Midweek traffic has received a similar boost; on Wednesday, April 17, visits to Buffalo Wild Wings were down 8.4% compared to the first quarter of 2024. By Wednesday, May 22 – with the promotion now in high gear – visits to the chain’s locations were up an eye-popping 73.9%.

Those results are in stark contrast to what Red Lobster experienced in recent years when it offered an all-you-can-eat deal. According to Buffalo Wild Wings’ website, its ongoing promotion is for a limited time, is for dine-in customers only, and has a limit of “1 per person/per order,” with “sharing prohibited.”

“It wouldn’t be a surprise,” Hottovy said, “to see other chains introduce similar limited-time promotions in the near future.” 

The Food Institute Podcast

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