Dean and Melissa Siracusa were no strangers to franchising when they bought their first Wingstop chicken wing restaurant in 2006. Six years earlier the couple had purchased the first of several 7-Eleven convenience stores that they owned in the Reno, Nevada, area. But as they looked to expand into other areas within franchising, the Wingstop concept, they felt, had all the characteristics they were looking for. "It was a simple concept with a limited menu of extremely good food," says Dean, noting that in addition to chicken wings and strips, it also features fresh-cut fries, potato salad and baked beans. "Even though the restaurants can seat about 40 people, there's a lot of takeout so it generates a good amount of business."
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Centralized purchasing for everything from plates and utensils to the actual chicken and other food items on the menu means that the Siracusas don't have to vet individual vendors themselves. "[The parent company] does it all for us," he said. With three restaurants in the Reno area, the couple is now scouting locations for new restaurants in Anchorage, Alaska. "That market is open, and we want to keep expanding," Dean said. "We'll put the right people in place to run those restaurants day to day, but we're always involved. That's the beauty of running a simple concept." His advice to other potential franchisees: "Do your research and make sure you are buying into a franchise that is growing and has a good reputation. And remember to think big and never sweat the small stuff."
"Think big and never sweat the small stuff."