Buffalo Wild Wings debuts its restaurant of the future, with cocktails, self-service beer taps, and Xbox gaming consoles
Buffalo Wild Wings
- Buffalo Wild Wings unveiled a new store design this week.
- The new design features a room with gaming consoles and self-service beer on tap, as well as an increased emphasis on takeout and cocktails.
- Here is what Buffalo Wild Wings' sports bar of the future looks like.
Buffalo Wild Wings is getting a makeover.
The chain - which was acquired by Arby's parent company Inspire Brands earlier in 2018 - unveiled a new store design earlier this week. The revamped layout is intended to bring the chain "back to its roots as a great American sports bar," the company said in a press release.
With Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as well as new cocktails and self-service beer on tap, the new design hints at what the sports bar of the future could look like. Instead of the old-school wings and beer, Buffalo Wild Wings looks toward a future where esports is on the rise and watching games is an interactive experience.
"If you look back when Buffalo Wild Wings was really successful, it was the only one out there doing what it was doing," Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown told Business Insider earlier this year.
"We had a nationalized local sports bar, and then more competition has come in, and I think that some of that competition has been a little bit more innovative. There's an opportunity to figure out the 21st-century incarnation of what made it so successful during the early 2000s."
Read more: Arby's CEO made a $2.9 billion bet on Buffalo Wild Wings - here's his plan to save the struggling chain
So far, Buffalo Wild Wings has opened two restaurants with the new design, in Texas and Kentucky, with plans to open two more in 2019.
Here is what that 21st-century incarnation of the sports bar might look like.
Buffalo Wild Wings debuted a new logo in October. The slightly sharper image is front-and-center in the new design.
The building has a dedicated takeout window, hinting at the chain's increasing emphasis on its to-go business.
In the more traditional section of the bar, Buffalo Wild Wings has added more options: different types of tables and stools, an open layout, and the continued presence of TV screens everywhere.
The bar is made from recycled basketball courts, with a menu that has a greater emphasis on spirits and cocktails than Buffalo Wild Wings' previous iterations.
The dining area is larger than the bar and also mixes different styles of seating. The section can be opened up as bar overflow or sectioned off to allow people to sit and eat.
The "MVP Room" is a new element that is reminiscent of a rec room attached to a bar. The area has three TVs, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo gaming consoles, and six self-pour beer taps.
The "Dugout" is another new section of the revamped restaurant. Near the front of the bar, it serves as an extension of the waiting area, where people can sit on bleachers and watch games.
Buffalo Wild Wings is also upgrading its patio, with rollup garage doors and a double-sided bar.
And, it is clear that takeout is becoming increasingly important for the chain. The new design has a separate takeout area with its own entrance, pick-up windows, and designated parking spots.
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