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Five minutes with.. Ted Leovich, VP International Operations, Wingstop

Five minutes with.. Ted Leovich, VP International Operations, Wingstop

Chicken restaurant Wingstop is planning to launch at least 15 more outlets across the UAE over the next decade, says Ted Leovich.

Why are you developing Wingstop in the UAE?

When evaluating the possibility of entering new markets, we consider a number of key criteria. These include a strong desire for the Wingstop offering in the market, the presence of a large concentration of aspirational guests who appreciate quality and flavour, as well as the availability of a franchise partner focused on hospitality and quality of operations. We feel we’ve hit the mark on every point in the UAE, and are confident that the concept will be successful not only in Dubai, but also across the wider region as we look to expand. Wingstop is the number one chicken wing concept in the United States, and with over 800 locations worldwide, we are excited for what lies ahead, particularly given the potential of the growing market here in the UAE.

How do you expect the brand to stand out among the numerous other chicken offerings available in the market?

We offer more than just chicken wings – we offer flavour. Eleven bold and distinctive flavours to be precise, and that is what I believe sets us apart from the crowd. It has been our ongoing mission, since first opening our doors in 1994, to delight our customers with a taste bud tantalising experience every time. Competition in any market is inevitable, but as wing experts with over twenty years’ experience in the business, we are positive that our unique offering will continue delight and grow our regional customer base.

How will recently announced plans for the brand to go public impact Wingstop’s global strategy?

Going public is a move that I believe will reinforce the strength of and build upon the success of the Wingstop brand internationally, therefore supporting our ongoing growth plans as we look to enter new and exciting markets around the world.

What are your expectations for the UAE franchise in its first year of operation?

With our first outlet, we seek to drive brand awareness here in the Middle East, in turn setting the tone for the growth of Wingstop restaurants across the UAE and the wider region. The quality of what we offer will speak for itself, and we look forward to growing our customer base.

Where do you expect your other UAE restaurants to be located?

Our first location can be found along the popular Jumeirah Beach Road in Jumeirah 1, and we plan to open our future restaurants in similar high-profile, easy to reach, high-footfall locations. I can’t reveal further details at the moment, but we look forward to announcing new outlets in the near future.

Are there any expansion plans for the wider GCC or Middle East?

Absolutely. In partnership with UAE-based food and beverage company, The Eureka Group, we have plans to open at least 15 more outlets across the UAE over the next 10 years.

Are you hiring?

As we continue to grow and expand in the UAE, we will of course be looking for talented individuals to join our dedicated team of wing experts.

What makes the perfect employee?

Our brand is engaging and focused on creating a unique customer experience, and we look for individuals who possess energy, drive, and passion. Our staff are hard-working, team-players, committed to providing diners with an experience that will keep them coming back for more.

Define success in five words..

Vision, innovation, evolution, leadership, hospitality.

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