How Much It Really Costs To Open A Wingstop Franchise

The international chicken wing restaurant Wingstop got its start with one restaurant started by Pizza Patron's Antonio Swad in 1994. Now, the Dallas-based Wingstop owns and franchises more than 1,500 locations across the U.S. and overseas. Wingstop serves classic and boneless chicken wings as well as chicken tenders, with 11 signature sauces to choose from. Side items to accompany the chicken wings include seasoned fries, Cajun fried corn, veggie sticks, and baked rolls.

Just three years after the first Wingstop store opened, franchise locations were offered, and in the years since, according to the Wingstop website, the brand has become one of the fastest-growing restaurant concepts in America. In 2019, system-wide sales for Wingstop increased 20.1% year-over-year to $1.5 billion, which was the 16th consecutive year showing same store sales growth (via a press release). With numbers like those, it's not surprising that entrepreneurs are interested in the costs associated with owning a Wingstop store. Let's break it down.

How to own your own Wingstop franchise

The marketing materials from Wingstop's franchise operations promote that the stores are easy to operate and have a low labor cost. Because most of Wingstop's business happens outside the restaurant's dining room, with customers taking wing orders to-go, the space needed for a store is typically under 1,800 square feet. A bonus that comes with the small square footage? Some of the highest sales-per-square-foot in the industry, with the average Wingstop store reporting average annual sales of $1.2 million (via Wingstop).

According to, prospective Wingstop franchisees may be able to choose between being a single or multi-unit operator. To qualify, franchisees must have restaurant experience and a net worth of at least $1.2 million, with $600,000 being liquid. Total investment for one store ranges between $374,000 and $782,000. Hands-on training and an intensive three-week orientation is also part of every new franchisee's Wingstop journey.