Buffalo Wings & Rings Newly-designed Store Breaks Ground in Mason

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

When customers walk into the new Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant coming to Mason in the fall, they might not recognize what they see.

The store at 5517 Kings Center Drive will feature a sleeker design and family-friendly atmosphere that the Union Township-based franchiser has unveiled in only a few locations throughout the United States.

"We want to create a new experience for consumers who want the sports experience, but don't want it in a sports bar," said Nader Masadeh, CEO of Buffalo Wings & Rings. "It's not the traditional sports bar - the dark, masculine, fried food kind of concept." On Monday, property developers broke ground on the 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which is owned by franchisees John Gerbus and Todd Fetter. Fetter operates two other locations in Lima, Ohio and Piqua, Ohio. Both cities are north of Dayton.

Masadeh said all new restaurants "" including three company-owned stores that are opening in Anderson Township, Liberty Township and Oakley in the next two years - will be built with the new design. And in 18 months, the franchiser wants all existing 59 restaurants (45 located in the U.S. and 15 in the Middle East) to switch over. Three of the existing 45 U.S.-based restaurants are company owned. The rest are owned by franchisees.

He wouldn't disclose precisely how sales have improved with the new design, but he said the increase has been more than 20 percent.

Gerbus and Fetter got to know each other in 2011 and began talking about opening a franchise in the Mason area. Now that dream is becoming a reality. The new store is within walking distance of Kings Island and close enough to view the park's fireworks from the patio.

"I'm very excited about it," Gerbus said. "Todd and I feel like it's a great location." Fetter anticipates the restaurant will seat 200 people and employ around 50 workers.

Opening a franchise costs $35,000, according to the company's website. Franchisees typically invest around $1.7 million into a restaurant, includes the building, furniture, decor, signage and food, Masadeh said.

Both Fetter and Gerbus say they're excited about the new store concept. Gerbus remembers visiting a Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant in Milford for the first time several years ago.

"I wouldn't have gone into the brand 10 years ago with that model," Gerbus said. "I wouldn't have invested my money in it." Fetter, who is married and has five children, also is encouraged by the new atmosphere. "All people are welcome," he said.

The new design, which was created by Interbrand Design Forum in Dayton, has a contemporary feel with a brighter color palette, higher-grade furniture and more natural light, said Masadeh.

Designers used orange and red colors to represent the sauces and green colors to represent the celery. The cushions are made of football material, and the furniture has a lot of rounded elements, to represent the rings in the company's name. The new-design restaurants feature a gaming area for families with kids and increased seating away from the bar.

Fetter's franchise in Piqua was one of the first locations in the United States to use the new design, and it attracted a lot of attention from across the country. Corporate organizers would fly potential franchisees to see the new design, Fetter said.

Masadeh said the company first started conducting research about the new design in 2010. Three stores - in Finneytown, Crestview Hills and Greendale, Ind. - have been remodeled in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Fetter admitted that it's hard to change the image of the chain, especially in Cincinnati where it opened in 1984. "But they're doing it, one step at a time," he said.

"Consumers may remember growing up around the older store," Masadeh said. "They'll walk into a new store and notice a huge difference. (Consumers) are very excited about the new brand."

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Buffalo Wings & Rings
396 Wards Corner Road
Loveland, OH

Phone: 513-831-WING
Toll Free: (866) 946-4787
Fax: (513) 831-9463

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