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Wingstop Signs Deal to Open 30 Locations in Colombia and Panama

DALLAS, Oct. 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wingstop, Inc. (NASDAQ:WING), the award-winning wing concept with more than 900 locations worldwide, today announced that it has entered into an international expansion agreement with Colowing S.A. de C.V. to open 30 locally operated franchise locations in Colombia and Panama over the next five years, starting in 2017. Antonio Ortiz Dominguez, majority partner of Wingstop’s Mexico franchise and the Company’s first international operator, will serve as majority partner of this newly created entity; Ricardo Ibarra, former general manager of Alsea Colombia, will serve as managing partner.

Mr. Ortiz is a long time multi-unit operator for quick-serve and fast casual restaurant brands in Mexico, having launched Wingstop’s first international location there in 2009, as well as operating Dominos and Burger-Fi franchises. Under his leadership, Mexico remains Wingstop’s largest international franchise to date with 39 total restaurants including 15 newly opened locations in the past 18 months alone. Mr. Ibarra has more than 25 years of restaurant operating and logistics experience, the majority of this time spent with Alsea, the major multi-unit operator of American brands across Latin America. He has served as general manager of Alsea’s Colombia business where he oversaw the launches and expansion of the company’s Dominos and Burger King brands, and most recently served as managing director of the company’s Chili’s operations in Mexico.

Mr. Ortiz Dominguez and Mr. Ibarra will work with local restaurant operators in each respective market to accelerate opening and expansion, with the first locations planned for Bogota and Cali, Colombia.

“We look forward to partnering with Colowing in the development of these 30 new Wingstop locations and our first entry into South and Central America,” said Larry Kruguer, President of International at Wingstop. “The five year plan for those two markets will focus on rapid development and scalability, and will lay the foundation for additional locations, while kick starting our growth throughout the Latin American region and further fulfilling Wingstop’s mission to ‘Serve the World Flavor.’”

Antonio Ortiz Dominguez stated, “We are proud of our highly successful partnership with Wingstop in Mexico, and are excited for this opportunity to expand the brand across Colombia and Panama.” Ricardo Ibarra continued, “Based on my knowledge of the Colombian customer, and prior experience introducing well-known restaurant brands into the region, I am confident that this will be an extremely successful market for Wingstop.”

Wingstop is a U.S. based restaurant brand with a sole focus on freshly prepared, cooked-to-order, hand-sauced and tossed chicken wings and side dishes. Colombia and Panama mark Wingstop’s seventh and eighth international markets outside of the United States. For more information on Wingstop franchising, visit www.wingstop.com/own-a-wingstop/.

About Wingstop:
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) operates and franchises 914 restaurants across the United States, Mexico, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates. Having grown its domestic same store sales for 12 consecutive years, the Company has been ranked #3 on the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Restaurant Chains” by Nation’s Restaurant News (2016), #7 on the “Top 40 Fast Casual Chains” by Restaurant Business (2016), and was named “Best Franchise Deal in North America” by QSR magazine (2014). Wingstop has been designated a certified Great Place to Work® (2016), and was ranked #88 on Fortune’s 100 Best Medium Workplaces list in October 2016. The Wing Experts’ menu features classic and boneless wings with 11 bold, distinctive flavors including Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian, Garlic Parmesan, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Louisiana Rub and Mango Habanero. Wingstop’s wings are always cooked to order, hand-sauced and tossed and served with a variety of house-made sides including hand-cut, seasoned fries. For more information visit www.wingstop.com or www.wingstopfranchise.com. Follow us on facebook.com/Wingstop and Twitter @Wingstop.

Certain statements contained in this news release, as well as other information provided from time to time by Wingstop Inc. or its employees, may contain forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as “guidance,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “confident,” “may,” “should,” “can have,” “likely,” “future” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release include our fiscal year 2016 outlook for new restaurant openings, domestic same store sales growth, total revenue, SG&A expenses, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income, adjusted earnings per pro-forma diluted share and our diluted share count, as well as our anticipated potential domestic restaurant expansion opportunity and positioning to deliver sustainable and profitable growth.

Any such forward looking statements are not guarantees of performance or results, and involve risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the Company’s control) and assumptions. Although we believe any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, you should be aware that many factors could affect our actual financial results and cause them to differ materially from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements. Please refer to the risk factors discussed in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 26, 2015, which can be found at the SEC’s website www.sec.gov. The discussion of these risks is specifically incorporated by reference into this news release.

Any forward-looking statement made by Wingstop Inc. in this press release speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

Media Contact Joy Murphy 646-277-1242 Investor Contact Raphael Gross 203-682-8253

Source:Wingstop Restaurants, Inc.